Higher Vitamin B12 Levels Linked to Increased Death Risk

Vitamin B12 levels of at least 550 but less than 650 pg/mL are associated with a 26% increased mortality risk vs. levels below 400 pg/mL.
Vitamin B12 levels of at least 550 but less than 650 pg/mL are associated with a 26% increased mortality risk vs. levels below 400 pg/mL.

Elevated levels of vitamin B12 are associated with an increased risk of death in hemodialysis (HD) patients, study findings presented at the National Kidney Foundation 2015 Spring Clinical Meetings in Dallas suggest.

The study, led by Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, MPH, PhD, of the University of California Irvine, included a 5-year cohort of 12,968 incident HD patients receiving dialysis at DaVita facilities. Compared with HD patients who had a vitamin B12 level below 400 pg/mL, those with levels of at least 550 but less than 650 pg/mL had a significant 26% increased risk of all-cause mortality in a fully adjusted model, Dr. Kalantar-Zadeh's team reported in a poster presentation.

The cohort had a mean age of 63 years; 50% of the subjects were women, 33% were black, and 50% were diabetic. The mean vitamin B12 level was 704 pg/mL.

“Further investigation is needed to determine if B12 can be used as a predictive factor of mortality in HD patients,” they concluded.

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