Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a chronic progressive scaring oral disease associated with areca quid chewing. This study evaluated whether OSF patients had anemia, hematinic deficiencies, and serum gastric parietal cell antibody (GPCA) positivity.
The blood hemoglobin (Hb), iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid concentrations, mean corpuscular volume, and serum GPCA in 68 male OSF patients were measured and compared with the corresponding data in 136 age-matched male healthy control individuals.
We found that five (7.4%), 14 (20.6%), 34 (50.0%), 28 (41.2%), and nine (13.2%) of the 68 male OSF patients had Hb (< 13 g/dL), iron (≤ 70 μg/dL), vitamin B12 (≤ 450 pg/mL), and folic acid (≤ 6 ng/mL) deficiencies, and serum GPCA positivity, respectively. Furthermore, OSF patients had a significantly higher frequency of Hb (p = 0.006), vitamin B12 (p < 0.001), or folic acid (p < 0.001) deficiency and of serum GPCA positivity (p = 0.011) than healthy control participants. Of the five OSF patients with anemia, two had thalassemia trait, one had iron deficiency anemia, and two had macrocytic anemia (mean corpuscular volume ≥ 100 fL). In addition, of the nine OSF patients with serum GPCA positivity, six had vitamin B12 deficiency, five had folic acid deficiency, and two had iron deficiency. However, none of the nine GPCA-positive OSF patients had pernicious anemia based on the strict World Health Organization definition.
We conclude that there are high frequencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies and of serum GPCA positivity in our male OSF patients.