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Vitamin B12 deficiency and incontinence in older people
Division Geriatric Medicine, Queen's University, St. Mary's of the Lake Hospital
Oct 2000 (Vol. 7, Issue 5, Pages( 1077 - 1080)


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  • OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between urinary incontinence and Vitamin B12 deficiency in community-living older people using standard serum cobalamin levels as well as the metabolites methylmalonic acid (MMA) and total homocysteine (HCYS). DESIGN: A prospective cross-sectional study of community-living older people. PARTICIPANTS: Independent and cognitively normal adults (mean age=72 years, range=65-89 years) living in the community. One hundred and nineteen volunteers were recruited at group meetings, activity groups, and through the use of posters. MEASUREMENTS: Information on urinary continence was provided by the participant during a systematic medical history, and was defined as any amount of uncontrolled leakage of urine. Vitamin B12, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels were determined in all subjects. MAIN


    We found no significant differences between the continent and incontinent group in regard to their serum Vitamin B12 (OR=1.34, CI: 0.39-4.58, p=.424), methylmalonic acid levels (OR=0.71, CI: 0.24-2.10, p=.386), or total homocysteine levels (CI: 0.29-4.54, p=.535).


    In our study continence was not significantly affected by the B12 status of the subject; neither serum B12 levels or the metabolites MMA and HCYS (reflecting B12 function) were significantly different in the continent group versus the incontinent one.

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