The association between serum vitamin B12 deficiency and tension-type headache in Turkish children

Neurol Sci. 2018 Jun;39(6):1009-1014. doi: 10.1007/s10072-018-3286-5. Epub 2018 Mar 8.


This study aimed to determine the relationship between serum vitamin B12 level and tension-type headache. The study groups consisted of 75 patients (40 females, 35 males) with headache and a control group of 49 healthy children (25 females, 24 males). Serum vitamin B12 level < 200 pg/ml was defined as deficient, and < 160 pg/ml as severely deficient. The serum vitamin B12 level was measured by the electrochemiluminescence (ECLIA) method. The serum vitamin B12 levels in the headache and control groups were 273.01 ± 76.77 and 316.22 ± 74.53 pg/ml, with the difference determined as statistically significant (p = 0.003). In the case group, 18/75 patients (24%) had a serum vitamin B12 level below the normal of 200 pg/ml, and in the control group 4/49 (8%) patients were also below the normal range (p = 0.021). The serum vitamin B12 level in the children with tension-type headache was significantly lower than that in the control group. From the results of the study, it was concluded that there may be an association between vitamin B12 level and tension-type headache. However, further clinical studies are needed.

Keywords: Anxiety; Children; Depression; Headache; Vitamin B12 deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tension-Type Headache / blood*
  • Tension-Type Headache / complications*
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / drug therapy


  • Vitamin B 12