A Trend of Low Serum Vitamin B12¬ in Jordanian Adults from Two Ethnic Groups in Amman

Nancy Hakooz, Rana Abu-Dahab, Tawfiq Arafat, Mohamed Hamad


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in Jordanian adults from two ethnic groups in Amman.

Methods: The plasma B¬12 level was measured in 290 subjects (124 men, 166 women, aged 16-72) from two ethnic groups; Circassians and Arabs. These participants were recruited by simple random sampling from both communities from June 2004 to March 2005.

Results: The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency (B12 level lower than 200 pg/ ml) was 50.8 and 46.9% in Arab and Circassians, respectively. No significant differences in the plasma B12 level were found between the different age groups in Arabs and Circassians and between the same age groups of the two populations. One notable exception was the subjects who are older than 60 years in Circassians. Their plasma B12 levels were significantly lower than those in the other age groups in Circassians and the same age group in Arab (P<0.05). There were differences in the plasma B12 level according to gender; the plasma B12 levels for men were lower than those obtained for women in both groups. This difference was significant (P<0.001) for Arab population. Compared to Circassian men, the plasma B12 levels of Arab men were also significantly lower (P< 0.001). The plasma B12 level was significantly lower in smokers compared to non-smokers in both groups (P<0.005).

Conclusion: The current study demonstrates the high prevalence of suboptimal cobalamin levels in Jordanian subjects living in Amman, and it shows that there are no differences in the prevalence as related to the two ethnic groups studied.


Suboptimal Serum Vitamin B12 , Jordanian Adults, Arabs, Circassians

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