Critical Care

, 18:P428 | Cite as

Vitamin B and C levels of homeless patients who visit the emergency department with alcohol ingestion

  • HJ Lee
  • JH Shin
  • E Kang
  • J Jung
  • DK Kim
Open Access
Poster presentation


Emergency Department Alcohol Ingestion Actual Vitamin Essential Micronutrient Hospital Emergency Department 
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Vitamins are essential micronutrients and depletions are reported for chronically ill patients. It is well known that the general nutrition status of the homeless is poor, especially for heavy alcoholics. But there were few data about the actual vitamin status of homeless patients. We want to evaluate the vitamin levels of homeless patients.


This study was conducted at a single urban teaching hospital emergency department. We performed a retrospective chart review of blood vitamin B1, B12, B6 and C levels of homeless patients. These vitamins are a common supplement in our center and sometimes blood levels are drawn if the patient is drunk, needs i.v. hydration and has cachexic features.


During study periods, vitamin levels were checked for 156 patients. The number of male patients was 146 (94%) and the mean age was 50 ± 10.2. Vitamin C levels were 15.8 ± 1.3 mg/l. For 84 patients, levels of vitamin C were decreased. For vitamin B1 (152 ± 7.2 nmol/l), vitamin B12 (725.5 ± 35.4 pg/ml), and vitamin B6 (50.3 ± 5.5 ng/ml), there were three, two and 23 patients below the reference ranges respectively. See Table 1.
Table 1

abstract P428)


Mean (SD)

Reference range

Lower than reference (%)

Higher than reference

Vitamin B1

1 58.1 (80.2;

59 to 213



Vitamin B12

741.5 (432.2)

200 to 950



Vitamin B6

51.9 (53.8)

20 to 202



Vitamin C

15.57 (13.4)

26.1 to 84.6




The level of vitamin C was markedly decreased. Replacement of vitamin C should be considered for the homeless who visit the emergency department after alcohol ingestion.

Copyright information

© Lee et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  • HJ Lee
    • 1
  • JH Shin
    • 1
  • E Kang
    • 1
  • J Jung
    • 1
  • DK Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.SMG-SNU Boramae Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea

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