Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2006 , Vol 9, Issue 2
1Akdeniz Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Merkez Laboratuvarı, Klinik Biyokimya Departmanları ANTALYA
2Akdeniz Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Merkez Laboratuvarı Mikrobiyoloji Departmanları ANTALYA
Objectives: It was aimed to determine the serum vitamin B12, folate and plasma homocysteine levels in elderly and to investigate the relations between these parameters.

Patients and Methods: Serum vitamin B12, folate and plasma homocysteine levels were measured in 226 elderly (71.0 ± 7 years) and 260 non-elderly (46.4 ± 11 years) subjects. Vitamin B12 levels <150 pmol/L and between 150-200 pmol/L were considered as high risk for deficiency and borderline deficiency, respectively. Deficiency limit for folate and high concentration for homocysteine were accepted as <11 nmol/L and >15 µmol/L, respectively.

Results: Age correlated negatively (r= -0.26, p< 0.0001) with vitamin B12 and positively (r= 0.32, p<0.01) with homocysteine levels. Vitamin B12 and folate levels were significantly higher and that of homocysteine was significantly lower in elderly compared to non-elderly. In elderly group, 22.6% of subjects had high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, 30.6% had borderline deficiency, 10% had folate deficiency and 48% had high homocysteine levels. In 64% of elderly with high homocysteine levels, the level of vitamin B12 was <200 mmol/L, and in 4.6% of the same group, folate level was <11 nmol/L. There was a significant relation (r= -0.32, p<0.0001) between vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels.

Conclusion: It was concluded that regular measurements of vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine levels in elderly and vitamin B12 and folate supplement in cases where needed may be helpful in prevention of some diseases frequently observed in this age group. Keywords : Vitamin B12, Folate, Homocysteine, Elderly