Elevation of homocysteine and low levels of vitamin B12 and folate are commonly seen in depression (Coppen & Bolander-Gouaille 2005). Observational studies have found as many as 30% of patients hospitalised for depression to be deficient in vitamin B12 (Hutto 1997). A recent cross-sectional study of 700 community-living, physically disabled women over the age of 65 years found that vitamin B12 deficient women were twice as likely to be severely depressed as non-deficient women (Penninx et al 2000). Considering symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest as psychological disturbances such as depression, deficiency should be investigated in this population.

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