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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


SOBRERO, Helena et al. Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in peripheral blood of mothers undergoing immediate puerperium at the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2023, vol.39, n.4, e204.  Epub Dec 01, 2023. ISSN 0303-3295.


To assess the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in women during the immediate postpartum period.


Descriptive observational study with prospective cohort recruitment, involving a sample of 133 women in their third trimester of pregnancy at the Maternity Department of the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center (CHPR) in Montevideo, Uruguay, between September 2021 and October 2022. Maternal blood samples were obtained during the immediate postpartum period through peripheral venous puncture. These samples were processed using electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunoassay. Additionally, a nutritional interview was conducted to assess dietary habits.


All patients reported following an omnivorous diet, except for one who reported following a vegan diet and received daily vitamin B12 supplementation. Seventy-five point nine percent (75.9%) of the study sample exhibited a low socioeconomic status as determined by the Socioeconomic Level Measurement Questionnaire of the INSE (Socioeconomic Level Index, 2018 - CEISMU, Uruguay). Resulting in a vitamin B12 deficiency prevalence of 39.10% (n: 52).


Despite the fact that this sample of pregnant women maintains an omnivorous diet, a high prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency was detected. Given the significance of vitamin B12 for maternal, fetal, and neonatal health, public health policies for preventing deficiency should be considered for both pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Keywords : Vitamin B12; Vitamin B12 deficiency; Puerperium.

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