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Screening Patients

...It is daunting and probably unnecessary to actively seek out new asymptomatic cases [of vitamin B12 deficiency] by screening....” Carmel, 2003

Most experts do not recommend community-based mass screening programs for vitamin B12 deficiency, even among high–risk groups, such as the frail elderly. For example:

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not published formal recommendations on screening asymptomatic older adults.
  • The major medical societies also have no recommendations on routine cobalamin screening.
  • The National Guideline Clearinghouse website has no guidelines calling for periodic assessment in asymptomatic patients. (However, if you provide primary care to patients with dementia or altered mental status and celiac sprue or other gastrointestinal conditions you might wish to consult the website [http://www.guideline.gov] for recommendations related to vitamin B12 monitoring in these high–risk groups.)

 

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