Abstract Title:

Prevalence of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Its Associated Risk Factors among Pregnant Women of Rural South India: A Community-based Cross-sectional Study.

Abstract Source:

Indian J Community Med. 2020 Oct-Dec;45(4):399-404. Epub 2020 Oct 28. PMID: 33623189

Abstract Author(s):

Anitha Mohanraj Barney, Vinod Joseph Abraham, Sumita Danda, Anne George Cherian, S Vanitha

Article Affiliation:

Anitha Mohanraj Barney


Introduction: Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system and for the formation of red blood cells. Vegetarian diet, low socioeconomic status, and social and religious reasons are known risk factors of its deficiency. Pregnant women, children, and the elderly are vulnerable groups. Indians have the highest prevalence, but the data among pregnant women in the rural setting is lacking.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency and its associated factors among pregnant women of rural South India.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to recruit consecutive 120 multigravida women with≤20 weeks of gestation, attending the mobile doctor run clinic of Kaniyambadi block, Vellore. A structured questionnaire was administered, and blood samples were collected.

Results: The prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency (<200 pgm/ml) and anemia (Hb≤10.5 g/dL) was 55% and 17.5%, respectively. Only 11.7% were B12 deficient and anemic. Past history of abortion (odds ratio [OR] = 0.5), fatigue (OR = 0.4), and low B12 intake (OR = 2) was associated only in the bivariate analysis. First trimester (OR = 3.9) and obesity (OR = 9.6) were found to beindependent risk factors of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Conclusion: Our study showed a high prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in pregnancy in rural India. Some risk factors were identified. However, studies with a higher sample size will be beneficial to study the associated risk factors better.

Study Type : Human Study

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