Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.46(3) > 1081293

J Nutr Health. 2013 Jun;46(3):239-249. Korean.
Published online June 30, 2013.
© 2013 The Korean Nutrition Society
Comparison of anthropometric data and clinical health indicators according to the serum vitamin B12 status in female older adults living in a rural area of Jeonla province, Korea
Chung Shil Kwak,1 Ji Hyun Cho,1 and Miyong Yon2
1Institute on Aging Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.
2Nutrition Policy Team, Department of Health Industry & Policy, Korea Heallth Industry Development Institute, Chungwon, Chungbuk 363-700, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: )
Received May 22, 2013; Revised June 13, 2013; Accepted June 17, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency is common in the elderly worldwide. We investigated the change of serum vitamin B12 concentration with aging and compared anthropometric data and clinical health indicators between normal (≥ 340 pg/mL) and low (< 340 pg/mL) serum vitamin B12 groups in 470 Korean women aged 65 years and over living in a rural area. Serum vitamin B12 concentration showed inverse correlation with age (r = -0.0992, p < 0.05). The normal B12 group showed significantly (p < 0.05) higher red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit compared to the low B12 group, however, no difference in mean corpuscular volume was observed between the two groups. The normal B12 group showed significantly lower serum homocysteine concentration (p < 0.01) and prevalence of vitamin D (p < 0.01) or folate deficiency (p < 0.001). Bone mineral density (T-score) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the normal B12 group, compared with that in the low B12 group, and showed positive correlation (r = 0.1490, p < 0.01) with serum vitamin B12 concentration after adjusting for age, body weight, and body mass index. No differences in anthropometric data, physical activity, and smoking and drinking habits were observed between the two groups. In conclusion, it could be suggested that older female adults with normal serum vitamin B12 level would be less anemic and osteoporotic and more resistant to hyperhomocysteinemia associated chronic diseases than those with low serum vitamin B12 level.

Keywords: female older adults; serum vitamin B12 concentration; clinical health indicator; aging


Table 1
Change of average serum vitamin B12 concentration with aging
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Table 2
General characteristics according to the vitamin B12 status
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Table 3
Health related lifestyle and prevalence of self-reported chronic diseases according to the vitamin B12 status
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Table 4
Anthropometric data and bone mineral density according to the vitamin B12 status
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Table 5
Blood pressure and biochemical index for anemia according to the vitamin B12 status
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Table 6
Blood measurement according to the vitamin B12 status
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This work was supported by Ministry of Health and Welfare and Soonchang County in 2009 through Institute on Aging at Seoul National University, and National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2010-0008081).

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