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Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with geographical latitude and solar radiation in the older population

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
29923 44448 2014 6 PDF Available
Title
Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with geographical latitude and solar radiation in the older population
Abstract

•Recent evidence suggests that solar radiation degrades vitamin B12 and folic acid.•Chile is 4250 km (17.5–56.5°S) long running North–South almost perfectly perpendicular to the Equator.•Vitamin B12 and folic acid concentrations were measured as part of the Chilean Health Survey.•Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with solar radiation and proximity to the Equator.

BackgroundVitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency are common in the older and are associated with several conditions including anaemia, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and cancer. Evidence from in vitro studies suggests that solar radiation can degrade both vitamins in the skin. Chile is the longest country in the world running perfectly North–South making it an ideal place to study potential associations of latitude and solar radiation on vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency.ObjectivesThe objective was to examine the association between vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies and latitude.MethodsPlasma samples were collected from Chileans aged 65+ years (n = 1013) living across the whole country and assayed for vitamin B12 and folic acid concentrations as part of the Chilean Health Survey 2009–2010, which is a national representative sample study.ResultsOverall, the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency was 11.3%, with the prevalence in the North of the country being significantly greater than in the Central and South zones (19.1%,10.5%, and 5.7%, respectively; P < 0.001). The prevalence of folic acid deficiency in the whole cohort was 0.7% with no difference between the 3 geographical zones. Using logistic regression analyses, vitamin B12 deficiency was significantly associated with geographical latitude (OR 0.910 [95% confidence intervals 0.890–0.940], P < 0.001) and solar radiation (OR 1.203 [95% confidence intervals 1.119–1.294], P < <0.001). These associations persisted after adjustments for confounders (OR 0.930, P < 0.001 and 1.198, P = 0.002, respectively).ConclusionsIn the Chilean population of 65+, the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with living closer to the Equator and solar radiation. Although degradation by solar radiation might explain this observation, further work is required to establish the potential mechanisms. In countries that routinely fortify food with folic acid, efforts to identify vitamin B12 deficiency might be more cost-efficiently targeted in areas closest to the Equator.

Keywords
Vitamin B12; Folic acid; Deficiency; Geographical latitude; Solar radiation
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Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with geographical latitude and solar radiation in the older population
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 140, November 2014, Pages 8–13
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us