Background/Purpose: Our previous studies found relatively higher frequencies of anemia, hematinic deficiencies, and hyperhomocysteinemia in patients with different types of oral mucosal diseases. This study evaluated whether patients with oral precancerous lesions (oral precancer patients) had significantly higher frequencies of anemia, hematinic deficiencies, and hyperhomocysteinemia than healthy control subjects. Methods: The complete blood count, serum iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and homocysteine levels in 131 oral precancer patients including 96 oral leukoplakia, 26 oral erythroleukoplakia, and 9 oral verrucous hyperplasia patients and in 131 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were measured and compared. Results: We found significantly lower mean serum iron (for women only), vitamin B12, and folic acid levels and a significantly higher mean serum homocysteine level in oral precancer patients than in healthy control subjects (all P-values < 0.05). Moreover, 131 oral precancer patients had significantly higher frequencies of blood hemoglobin (3.1%), vitamin B12 (43.5%), and folic acid (46.6%) deficiencies and hyperhomocysteinemia (22.1%) than 131 healthy control subjects (all P-values < 0.05). Of 131 oral precancer patients, lower mean serum folic acid levels were found in 87 cigarette smokers than in 44 non-smokers (P = 0.002), in 26 smokers consuming > 20 cigarettes per day than in 61 smokers consuming ≤ 20 cigarettes per day (P = 0.024), and in 52 betel quid chewers than in 79 non-chewers (P = 0.051). Conclusion: There are significantly higher frequencies of anemia, serum vitamin B12, and folic acid deficiencies, and hyperhomocysteinemia in oral precancer patients than in healthy control subjects.
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