Prevalence of Serum Cobalamin and Serum Folate Deficiency with Associated Risk Factors among Children Aged 0 to 19 Years in India – A Review

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  • Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi -110 029 ,IN
  • Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi -110 029 ,IN
  • Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi -110 029 ,IN
  • Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi -110 029 ,IN
  • Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Delhi -110 029 ,IN



Cobalamin, folate, prevalence, deficiency, risk factor, children, anemia
serum cobalamin and folate deficiency


Anemia is broadly caused by nutritional and non-nutritional factors. Deficiency of cobalamin and folate are one of the causes of anemia and hence are of public health significance among 0 to 19 years old children in India. These deficiencies either alone or together may cause megaloblastic anemia, poor cognitive and motor development and stunting amongst children. To estimate the prevalence of serum cobalamin and serum folate with associated risk factors among children aged 0 to 19 years in India through various published studies. This review literature search was carried out using internet search engine namely PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane, Research gate using the term of cobalamin, vitamin B12, folate, children, deficiency and India from January 1st 2011 to June 30th 2021. Of the 252 research articles identified, 13 articles meeting the inclusion criteria (community based, cross sectional studies) were included and 5 articles among 0 to 5 years, 8 articles among 6 to 19 years reported the prevalence of cobalamin and folate deficiency. The prevalence of cobalamin deficiency ranged from 7 to 74% and prevalence of folate deficiency ranged from 1.5 to 40.2% among children aged 0 to 19 years. Most common associated risk factor identified was inadequacy of the diet and consumption of only vegetarian diet. Cobalamin and folate deficiency are of significant public health importance in age group 0 to 19 years in India. The deficiency varied across region and by contributing factors. Dietary diversification and promoting animal source of foods amongst children should be promoted to address cobalamin and folate deficiency.


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How to Cite

Khanam, A., Gupta, S., Singh, N., Vohra, K., & Yadav, K. (2022). Prevalence of Serum Cobalamin and Serum Folate Deficiency with Associated Risk Factors among Children Aged 0 to 19 Years in India – A Review. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 59(4), 524–536.



Review Articles
Received 2022-01-13
Accepted 2022-08-25
Published 2022-10-10



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