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Evidence to Improve Care

Serum Vitamin B12 Testing

Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that vitamin B12 be removed from the Ontario laboratory requisition form.

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation report

Vitamin B12 is most commonly found in dairy and meat products. Low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood can lead to disorders of the blood or nervous system, or to mental health problems. It is not known how many people in the general population have low levels of vitamin B12, but it is more common among long-term vegans, and among the elderly.

Health Quality Ontario Reviews Serum Vitamin B12 Testing

Health Quality Ontario reviewed the evidence to find out who should be tested for low vitamin B12 levels, and how often they should be tested.

Serum Vitamin B12 Testing: A Rapid Review (PDF)
December 2012

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry removed the vitamin B12 test from the Ontario laboratory requisition form in November 2012.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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