Metformin intake among geriatric patients may predispose to vitamin B12 deficiency: Polish population-based study
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Students' Scientific Society of Geriatrics, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
3P-Medicine Laboratory, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Psychology and Sociology of Health and Public Health, School of Public Health, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Department of Family Medicine and Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Submission date: 2023-11-05
Final revision date: 2023-12-03
Acceptance date: 2023-12-04
Online publication date: 2024-02-27
Corresponding author
Klaudia Kitala-Tańska   

School of Medicine, Collegium Medicum, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Warszawska 30, 10-082 Olsztyn, Poland
Pol. Ann. Med. 2024;31(1):1-6
Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a major problem among geriatric population worldwide. It may contribute to higher prevalence of cognitive impairment and depression, and may occur as a side effect of commonly prescribed anti-diabetic and anti-acid treatments. However, the scale of this phenomenon in Poland remains unknown.

We investigated the scale of vitamin B12 deficiency across population of geriatric patients over 70 years old. Additionally, we examined the association between vitamin B12 deficiency, cognitive impairment or depression prevalence, and metformin or proton pump inhibitors intake.

Material and methods:
Based on the measured vitamin B12 serum level, we divided patients into 3 groups: (1) normal (≥300 pg/mL); (2) borderline (191–300 pg/mL), and (3) low (≤191 pg/mL). The assessment of cognitive impairment or depression was performed by using 5 distinct tests (mini-mental state examination, abbreviated mental test score, clock drawing test, and 4-item or 15-item geriatric depression scale). For statistical analysis, we used χ2 and ANOVA tests.

Results and discussion:
We showed no differences in the frequency of cognitive impairment, depression, and vitamin among characterized groups. Importantly, we found that metformin intake was associated with vitamin B12 deficiency (P = 0.009), contrary to proton pump inhibitor (P = 0.53) and combined these drugs (P = 0.24).

We showed a relatively high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency across a population of geriatric patients. A preventive vitamin B12 supplementation should be considered when treating, especially geriatric diabetic patients. Due to conflicting results of retrospective studies, prospective clinical trial should be undertaken to describe the association between vitamin B12 deficiency and prevalence of cognitive impairment or depression.

We thank our colleagues from Research Institute for Innovative Methods of Rehabilitation of Patients with Spinal Cord Injury in Kamień Pomorski, Health Resort Kamień Pomorski, Poland.
None declared.
None declared.
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