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July 30, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, New York University College of Medicine, and the Psychiatric Medical Service of the Third (New York University) Medical Division, Bellevue Hospital.

JAMA. 1938;111(5):380-384. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790310002002

Vitamin B1 deficiency is now more frequently considered in this country as a factor in the production and aggravation of cardiovascular disease than formerly; this is a logical development from the recognition that this deficiency is not rare in the United States. The cardiovascular disturbances in beriberi are well known and are described wherever the disease is observed, whether in the Orient or in the Occident and whether in prison or asylum outbreaks, in sailors or in the sporadic cases heretofore identified. The cause of beriberi has been accepted as vitamin B1 deficiency since Vedder's1 monograph in 1913. It is now recognized that this deficiency has the decisive role in the production of many forms of neuritis variously described in this country as "toxic," "cachectic," "infectious," "metabolic," "gestational" and "alcoholic." Alcoholism is common in this country, accounting for 11.2 per cent of 101,462 first admissions to 472 mental

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