Connect
MJA
MJA

Vitamin B12 screening in older inpatients without known risk factors: why do clinicians measure it?

Celia S M Ting, John C Oldroyd and Michele R Levinson
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (8): 442-443. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11516
Published online: 15 October 2012

To the Editor: Tests for serum vitamin B12 and red cell folate levels are commonly requested in elderly inpatients1 to rule out reversible causes of cognitive impairment (eg, delirium).2 This imposes some cost on the community. The evidence for the association of cognitive impairment and vitamin B12 deficiency is inconclusive.3,4 It is also unclear whether other markers, such as elevated mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and anaemia, can indicate the need for vitamin B12 testing in elderly inpatients without known risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency (such as coeliac disease and pernicious anaemia).

  • Celia S M Ting
  • John C Oldroyd
  • Michele R Levinson

  • Cabrini Institute, Cabrini Health, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: drtingcelia@gmail.com

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

Author

remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Comment
Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Responses are now closed for this article.