Ewha Med J.  1992 Jun;15(2):101-107. 10.12771/emj.1992.15.2.101.

Serum Folate Concentrations in Psychiatric Inpatients: A Preliminary Study

  • 1Department of Nuropsychiatry, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Korea.


Serum folate levels have been estimated in 187 successively admitted inpatients at Department of Neuropsychiatry. Ewha Womans University Hospital. The mean age of the patients was 34.8+/-14.9, and the mean serum folate value was 8.0+/-4.0ng/ml.The younger age patients with sleep and conduct disorder and epilepsy had lower serum folate value than older patients with other diseases. In regard to the relation between folate deficiency and psychiatric diagnosis, epilepsy had the lowest serum folate value(3.6+/-l.6ng/ml) and neurosis had the highest value(10.4+/-5.5ng/ml). The patients with low(0~2.5ng/ml)serum folate value were 6 cases(3.2%), consisting of 4 schizophrenia, 1 mood disorder and 1 epilepsy. The ratio of patients with low and equivocal (below 5.0ng/ml) serum folate value was 24.6%, epilepsy had the highest proportion(66.6%). None of the alcoholism had low and equivocal serum folate value. 73.9% of patients with low and equivocal serum folate value were continously ill for more than year comparing to 48.9% of patients with normal serum folate value, and the difference was significant(X2=3.92, p<0.05). Since folate deficiency appeared to be in certain psychiatric disease and related to the chronicity of mental illness, it would be wise to carry out serum folate estimations and to treat the patients with subnormal serum folate value with folate supplements.

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