Vitamin B-12 status is associated with socioeconomic level and adherence to an animal food dietary pattern in Colombian school children.J Nutr. 2008 Jul; 138(7):1391-8.JN
Vitamin B-12 is related to neurocognitive function in school-age children, yet sociodemographic and dietary correlates of vitamin B-12 status in this age group are not well characterized. The prevalences of vitamin B-12 or folate deficiencies in Colombia are unknown. We conducted a cross-sectional study in a representative sample of 2800 low- and middle-income children aged 5-12 y from Bogotá's public schools. Plasma vitamin B-12 and erythrocyte folate concentrations (mean +/- SD) were 327 +/- 106 pmol/L and 858 +/- 256 nmol/L, respectively. The prevalence of vitamin B-12 deficiency (<148 pmol/L) was 1.6% and the prevalence of marginal status (148-221 pmol/L) was 15.0%. Only 2 children had folate deficiency (<305 nmol/L). In multivariate analysis, mean vitamin B-12 concentrations significantly decreased with age and were 15 pmol/L higher in girls than boys (95%CI = 8, 23). Vitamin B-12 was inversely related to the mother's parity and positively associated with the amount of money spent on food per person per day at home and the household's neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) classification. Folate concentrations were lower in girls than in boys and significantly increased with the household's SES. We identified 4 dietary patterns with principal components analysis of a FFQ in a random subsample (n = 972). Plasma vitamin B-12 was strongly, positively associated with a pattern that included frequent intake of beef, chicken, and dairy products in a dose-response manner (P-trend, adjusted, = 0.008). Low vitamin B-12 status is not negligible in Colombian school children and is associated with poverty and marginal intake of animal food sources.