The rapid increase in pellagra in some sections of our country should give rise to a conservative alarm, and any suggestions as to a possible etiologie factor should be made public, for not until the etiologic factor, or its method of transmission, is discovered, can any rational steps be taken toward the prevention of the disease. That there is great reason for a conservative alarm is apparent when we consider these facts: that the number of cases is increasing rapidly; that people in all walks of life are affected; that absolutely nothing is known as to how the disease is acquired, and that no certain hope can be offered to its victims.
Because of our absolute lack of knowledge of how pellagra is acquired, and taking into consideration the rapidity of its increase, it appears to me a greater menace to a certain section of this country than syphilis or tuberculosis. We know
BEALL KH. THE ETIOLOGY OF PELLAGRA. JAMA. 1911;LVII(21):1683. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260110183010