DOI: 10.1002/alz.075972 ISSN: 1552-5260

Association of mild cognitive impairment, dementia and vitamin B12 levels in older adults

Sara Gloria Aguilar‐Navarro, Lidia Antonia Gutiérrez, Maria Duadalupe Palacios Hernandez, Alberto Jose Mimenza
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with the development of multiple pathologies. However, it is still controversial if the deficiency is associated with cognitive impairment. Objective: To determine the association between cognitive performance and the vitamin B12 levels.


Cross‐sectional study including 241 adults aged 60 or older, treated as an outpatient at a tertiary care hospital, who had serum levels of vitamin B12. Participans underwent a cognitive assessment and assigned to one of three groups: normal cognition (NC), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. Vitamin B12 levels were classified in three categories: sufficiency (>400 pg/ml), subclinical deficiency (201‐400 pg/ml), and absolute deficiency (≤200 pg/ml). Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyzes were used to assess the association between cognitive performance and vitamin B12 levels


Mean age was 81.4 ± 8.0 years and 68% were women. The prevalence of absolute and subclinical B12 deficiency was 17.8% and 39.8%, respectively. Eigthy participants (33%) had MCI and 70 (29%) dementia. Those with MCI and dementia had lower vitamin B12 levels compaired with NC after adjusting for age, sex and education level (p = 0.019).


This study suggests a statistically significant association between global cognitive performance and serum levels of vitamin B12 in older adults

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