Serum vitamin B12 levels in severe acute malnutrition hospitalized children between age group 6 months to 59 months in Kangra, India


  • Ajay Vaid Medical officer, Regional Hospital, Dhalpur, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Milap Sharma Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Jamunashree B. Department of Paediatrics, Sri Siddhartha Academy of Higher Education, Tumkur, Karnataka, India
  • Piyush Gautam Department of Paediatrics, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Kangra, Tanda, Himachal Pradesh, India



Severe acute malnutrition, Vitamin B12, World Health Organization (WHO)


Background: Child malnutrition is a major global health problem contributing to childhood morbidity, mortality, impaired intellectual development, suboptimal adult work capacity and increased risk of diseases in adulthood. Severe acute malnutrition, among children below five years of age remains a major embarrassment, and impediment to optimal human capital development in India.

Methods: The study was an observational study conducted in the Department of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at Dr. RPGMC Kangra at Tanda, Himachal Pradesh. All children aged between 6 to 59 months presenting in the Department of Pediatrics with SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) and fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in the study after taking the informed consent from the guardian in local language.

Results: Out of 48 children included in the study, 28 (58%) children were Males and 20 (42%) children were females with male to female Ratio 1.3:1. Out of 48 children 28 (58%) were vitamin B12 deficient and 20 (42%) were non-deficient. In the present study 53.5% (15) of males were vitamin B12 deficient. Out of 20 females 65% (13) of females were vitamin B12 deficient, showed slight preponderance of females over males. It has been observed that younger age group children mostly <2-year-old were, the most vulnerable group as far as vitamin B12 deficiency is considered (16%)

Conclusions: Micronutrients play a central part in metabolism and in maintenance of tissue functions. All severely malnourished children have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The most common type of anemia was microcytic followed by megaloblastic anemia.


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