Comparison of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Folic Acid Blood Levels in Plumbism Patients and Controls in Eastern Iran

Omid Mehrpour, Marzieh Modi, Borhan Mansouri, Nemam Ali Azadi, Samaneh Nakhaee, Alireza Amirabadi, Gholamreza Anaei-sarab, Farshad M. Shirazi, Stephanie T. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate the blood levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) in patients with lead poisoning compared with control subjects in Eastern Iran. This analytical case-control study was conducted on 40 lead-poisoned patients who were referred to Imam Reza Hospital in Birjand from 2018 to 2019. Blood samples were collected from an additional 40 individuals without lead poisoning as a control group. The results indicated that the mean vitamin B12, vitamin D, and folic acid levels for the case group were 356.5 ± 200.1 pg/ml, 24.38 ± 9.5 ng/ml, and 7.4 ± 3.7 ng/ml, respectively. Mean folic acid level in the case group was significantly lower than control group (7.4 ng/ml vs. 12.70 pg/ml, P = 0.001), whereas the mean of the vitamin D levels at the case group was significantly higher than that of the control group (24.3 ng/ml vs. 20.1 ng/ml, P = 0.03). Moreover, mean vitamin B12 levels were significantly lower in the case group in comparison with the control group (356.5 pg/ml vs. 500.8 pg/ml) (P < 0.001). In the control group, 3 patients had folic acid below normal level (< 6 ng/mL) while 12 cases had folic acid below normal (P < 0.05). Also, none of the control group had low vitamin B12 concentrations (< 180 pg/ml), while 7 cases had vitamin b12 below normal (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that lead may induce folate and vitamin B12 dysregulation. Although we found that vitamin D levels were insufficient in both case and control groups, they were significantly higher in the case group. The interpretation of this result is unclear given inconsistent literature reports on this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Folic acid
  • Lead poisoning
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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