Awareness of the Importance and Deficiency of Vitamin B12 among Saudi Population

Shaima AlMufarej , Reem Alharshan , Asma Alismail , Munirah Boradha , Fatimah AlMasoud , Fatimah Alkhalifah

Abstract

Background: A deficiency in vitamin B12 could result in particular consequences which need consideration. This research aims to measure the awareness level with regard to the importance and deficiency of vitamin B12 among Saudi population. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in December 2019 among Saudi women and men who aged over 18 years. A sample of 489 subjects participated. The data was collected through an electronic questionnaire that had been distributed through social media. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: Among all participants, 22.1% have never heard about vitamin B12. Among the studied population, 56.6% identified the importance of vitamin B12 intake to the body, 49.7% knew food sources for vitamin B12, and 48.5% knew signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. In comparison, only 30.7% knew the complications of vitamin B12 deficiency. Most participants (65.4%) did not know how to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, and almost all 94.5% required more information regarding vitamin B12 deficiency. Conclusion: There is a crucial need to raise the awareness of vitamin B12 among the population of Saudi Arabia. There are many suggestive activities to spread the awareness of vitamin B12 including spreading knowledge in campaigns at schools, areas where most people gather as in malls, and social media.