Vitamin B12 deficiency affects about one quarter of the US population and is more common in the elderly and in adults with several predisposing conditions. Diagnosis is easy with the many available laboratory tests. Healthcare professionals need to recognize that vitamin B12 deficiency is often undetected and can lead to devastating and irreversible complications. Early treatment is effective and prevents disability from hematologic or neuropsychiatric complications, or both. Today, physicians have a choice of several inexpensive treatments that are easy to administer and have no known side effects.
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