Bengaluru 6th April 2023: The Data Science department at Neuberg Anand Reference Laboratory, Bangalore conducted a retrospective study on serum Vitamin B12 levels. A total of 1,49,494 anonymized results of females aged between 20-80 years and 1,20,454 results of males aged between 20-80 years were retrieved from their database and analyzed. The study aimed to investigate the trend in VitB12 deficiency in the past decade (2013-2022).
The analysis revealed a 14% decrease in B12 deficiency among women in the age groups 20-40 and 40-60 years, and an 8% decrease in the age group 60-80 years. A similar downward trend was also seen in men in the respective age groups. The downward trend in % of B12 deficients may be due to increased awareness and screening for VitB12 deficiency. The below graphs show the gender-wise trend.
The significant increase in B12 deficiency observed in 2021 may be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to less accessibility to testing centers and the overall shift in the general healthcare focus towards fighting COVID-19.
“This study has shown a decrease in the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in recent years, indicating a growing awareness and emphasis on nutrition and preventive health measures. Over a decade, the B12 test methods have also improved and are now more sensitive to early B12 deficiency leading to early detection and correction of the deficiency. The higher % of deficiency among males in comparison to females may be related to a larger population of men who regularly consume alcohol, leading to Vit B12 deficiency. ” by Dr. Sujay Prasad, Medical Director, Neuberg Diagnostics.
It should be noted that the data analyzed is a representation of a tertiary diagnostic center and does not represent the entire population. The study‘s findings suggest the need for increased awareness and screening for Vitamin B12 deficiency among different age groups and genders to reduce the prevalence of this deficiency.