How old were you when the deficiency was diagnosed?
Age & Recovery
It is still assumed all too frequently that a B12 deficiency occurs mainly in elderly people. Young symptomatic people are then not considered for a possible deficiency and consequently it takes too long for any B12 testing to be done.
This graph is, of course, not an exact representation of the breakdown by age, since relatively more young people completed the survey. 471 patients from this survey were under the age of 30 at the diagnosis of the vitamin B12 deficiency. Of these 471 young people, 42% had recovered completely or to a large extent. Younger patients recover better than older patients (above the age of 50 years 33% recovered completely or to a large extent).
Research has shown that 1 out of 200 children (<19 years) has a deficiency. This is based on a serum B12 value of 148 pmol/L, the reference value for adults. The serum B12 value is actually higher in healthy children when compared to adults, as has been indicated in various studies. The actual prevalence of a deficiency is therefore likely to be a lot higher.
If we only consider young people/children under the age of 19 years we will see the following:
- 39% recovered completely or to a large extent (equal to the average)
- 20% experienced little or no improvement (higher than average)
- 88% received injections, 4% high dose tablets and 4% low dose tablets (tablets more often than average)
- 74% received treatment immediately after the diagnosis, 13% had to wait longer than 6 months (clearly longer than average)
- the correct loading doses were received less often than average and it therefore took longer before there was an improvement
- 59% had (very) serious neurological symptoms
- the recovery from neurological symptoms is a bit higher than average
- they almost all had an obvious too low serum B12 value
- they are less satisfied with their treatment than average