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Open Access Highly Accessed Review article

Vitamin B12 deficiency among patients with diabetes mellitus: is routine screening and supplementation justified?

Davis Kibirige12* and Raymond Mwebaze123

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, St. Raphael of St. Francis hospital Nsambya, P.O.BOX 7146, Kampala, Uganda

2 Diabetes and endocrine clinic, St. Raphael of St. Francis hospital Nsambya, Kampala, Uganda

3 Mother Kevin Postgraduate Medical School, Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi, Nkozi, Uganda

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Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 2013, 12:17  doi:10.1186/2251-6581-12-17

Published: 7 May 2013


Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient required for optimal hemopoetic, neuro-cognitive and cardiovascular function. Biochemical and clinical vitamin B12 deficiency has been demonstrated to be highly prevalent among patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. It presents with diverse clinical manifestations ranging from impaired memory, dementia, delirium, peripheral neuropathy, sub acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, megaloblastic anemia and pancytopenia. This review article offers a current perspective on the physiological roles of vitamin B12, proposed pathophysiological mechanisms of vitamin B12 deficiency, screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and vitamin B12 supplementation among patients with diabetes mellitus.

Vitamin B12 deficiency; Diabetes mellitus; Screening; Supplementation