Abstract Background/purpose: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) is a progressive fibrotic oral mucosal disease associated with betel quid chewing. This study evaluated whether Taiwanese male OSF patients with vitamin B12 deficiency (the serum vitamin B12 level ≤ 450 pg/mL, B12-deficient OSF patients) had high frequencies of blood hemoglobin (Hb) and serum iron and folic acid deficiencies, and serum gastric parietal cell antibody (GPCA) positivity. Materials and methods: The blood Hb and serum iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and GPCA concentrations in 66 Taiwanese male B12-deficient OSF patients were measured and compared with the corresponding data in 132 age-matched healthy male control subjects. Results: We found that 6 (9.1%), 19 (28.8%), 35 (53.0%), and 9 (13.6%) of the 66 B12-deficient OSF patients had blood Hb (<13 g/dL) and serum iron (≤70 μg/dL), and folic acid (≤6 ng/mL) deficiencies, and serum GPCA positivity, respectively. Furthermore, 66 OSF patients had significantly higher frequencies of blood Hb and serum iron and folic acid deficiencies, and serum GPCA positivity than 132 healthy control subjects (all P-values < 0.05). Of the 6 anemic B12-deficient OSF patients, one had macrocytic anemia, two normocytic anemia, and three thalassemia trait-induced anemia. Conclusion: Taiwanese male B12-deficient OSF patients have high frequencies of blood Hb, serum iron and folic acid deficiencies, and serum GPCA positivity. The anemia and hematinic deficiencies in B12-deficient OSF patients are likely due to OSF symptoms and signs-caused insufficient intake, poor chewing, and malabsorption of hematinic elements from ingested food stuffs rather than the GPCA positivity.
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