Elderly psychiatric patients at risk of folic acid deficiency: A case controlled study

D. Mazeh, A. Cholostoy, C. Zemishlani, Y. Barak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the elderly, folic acid deficiency may result in psychiatric symptoms or the increases in severity of other organic and non-organic mental diseases. We aimed to characterize elderly, community-dwelling, newly admitted patients to a large urban psychiatric hospital who are suffering from untreated folic acid deficiency in comparison with elderly inpatients who do not suffer from this deficiency. During a 2-year period, all subjects aged 65 years or older admitted to the large psychiatric center were tested for levels of serum folic acid levels. Subjects suffering from folic acid deficiency were compared (unpaired t-test) with matched patients with normal serum levels. Of the 293 newly admitted elderly patients 45 (15.7%) suffered from folic acid deficiency. Mean age for the folic acid deficient group was 77.3 ± 8.1 years, 38% were diagnosed as suffering from dementia, 22% were depressed and 51% were living alone. In the comparison group mean age was 77.3 ± 6.3 years, 33% were diagnosed as suffering from dementia, 24% were suffering from depression and 57% were living alone. We conclude that we could not find any " characteristic" of elderly subjects at risk of folic acid deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Folic acid
  • Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Social isolation


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