Prevalence of Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency in Patients with Severe Mental Disorders Admitted to Acute Psychiatric Unit and Review of the Literature
Casares-Ruíz M1, Rodríguez-Sosa JT2,3, Hernández-Fleitas JL2,3, Alonso-Ortiz MB1,3*, Santana-del Pino A3, Andrès E4, Lorenzo-Villalba N4
1Internal Medicine Department, Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
2Psyquiatry Department, Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
3University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
4Internal Medicine Department, Strasbourg University Hospital. Strasbourg, France
*Corresponding Author: Alonso-Ortiz MB, Internal Medicine Department, Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
January 19, 2022; Published: April 18, 2022
Introduction: Diet is increasingly recognized as a potentially modifiable factor influencing the development and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies may have a significant causal contribution in the development and mental illnesses exacerbations.
Objectives: The main objective was to study the prevalence of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency in a group of psychiatric inpatients and to compare it with another cohort of Internal Medicine department. Also, a review of other nutritional epidemiological studies of psychiatric inpatients is carried out.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study evaluating the prevalence of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency in newly psychiatric patients aged 18 years or more admitted to the acute hospitalization unit. Patients presenting a serum creatinine ≥2 mg/dL, advanced chronic liver disease, cognitive impairment, discharged or deceased with 48 hours after hospital admission were excluded. Matched controls were obtained from Internal Medicine department. Deficiency was considered with plasmatic levels lower to 200 pg/ml and 2.76 ng/ml for vitamin B12 and folic acid, respectively.
Results: 140 patients were included in the study, 70 patients of the Psychiatric unit and 70 patients of the Internal Medicine department. In total, 8 patients (11.4%) of the psychiatric cohort had vitamin B12 deficiency while folic acid deficiency was found in 27 (38.6%). The prevalence of these deficiencies obtained in the Internal Medicine cohort was identical. Mean values of cobalamin in controls were significantly higher than in psychiatric patients (p = 0.0381). Low folate levels were significantly associated with alcohol consumption and a correlation between elevated folate levels with age, female sex, and food disorder (n = 2) was obtained.
Conclusions: Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies are prevalent among psychiatric inpatients, and there were no differences with respect to patients admitted to Internal Medicine department. The combined deficiency was more prevalent in the psychiatric inpatients than in patients from Internal Medicine department.
Keywords: Folic Acid Deficiency; Vitamin B12 Deficiency; Cobalamin Deficiency; Psychiatric Inpatients
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