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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(3):238-43.

Prevalence of thiamin and riboflavin deficiency among the elderly in Taiwan.

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Fu Jen Catholic University, College of Human Ecology, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Sinjhuang, Taiwan.


The purpose of this study was to perform biochemical assessments of the nutritional status of thiamin and riboflavin in the 2379 elderly persons (1213 males, 1166 females) participating in the Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (1999-2000) (Elderly NAHSIT). Through analysis of the data we aimed to investigate possible factors related to the prevalence of vitamin deficiency. Activity coefficients of erythrocyte transketolase and glutathione reductase (ETKAC and EGRAC) were the chosen biochemical indicators for thiamin and riboflavin status. The results showed that 14.7% of men and 11.9% of women were marginally thiamin deficient, and 16.5% of men and 14% of women were thiamin deficient. The prevalence rates of marginal riboflavin deficiency were 25.7% for males and 20.1% for females, and the deficiency rates were 6.6% for elderly males and 4.1% for elderly females. Although the average dietary thiamin and riboflavin intakes reached 146%-164% of Taiwan RDAs, the percentage of senior citizens whose thiamin or riboflavin dietary intakes were less than EARs (equivalent to 83.3% of RDAs) was around 30% for males and 40% for females. Some contributing factors to the significant prevalence of thiamin and riboflavin deficiencies are discussed in this article.

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