Low serum folic acid levels in a nursing home population: A clinical experience

Paul J. Drinka, Elizabeth H. Langer, Susan K. Voeks, James S. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Four hundred fifty-five residents of the Wisconsin Veterans Home had fasting serum specimens obtained for folic acid as part of standard practice. Twenty-nine percent were taking folic acid supplements. Six percent (n = 28) were taking phenytoin, a folate antagonist. No resident receiving a folate supplement (400 mcg/day) had a low serum folic acid level. This finding may be important for practitioners selecting a dose of folic acid for nursing home patients. Of the 325 residents not receiving a folate supplement, nine (3%) had low folic acid levels (<2.5 ng/mL). Two of the nine were receiving phenytoin. Five were characterized by staff as eating well. As low serum levels are preventable with a multivitamin, we believe that supplementation with a multivitamin containing 400 meg folic acid/day should be considered in nursing home residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-189
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Nursing home
  • Serum folic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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