Since the suggestion was originally made that vitamin C deficiency may be an important factor in the etiology of rheumatic fever,1 there has been considerable study of this problem. The concept was based on experimental observations that a pathologic state with certain similarities to rheumatic fever may be produced by subjecting guinea pigs to the simultaneous influence of vitamin C deficiency and streptococcic infection. The reports recorded the occurrence of lesions comparable to those of rheumatic fever in the cardiac valves, cardiac muscle and joints of the experimental animals so treated. The well known epidemiologic peculiarities of rheumatic fever, notably the geographic, seasonal and social incidence, are in accord with such a concept. A conditioning environmental influence is suggested particularly by the dominant occurrence of the disease in the poor.
Stimson, Hedley and Rose2 soon offered confirmation of the experimental work and added a brief report on the
RINEHART JF, GREENBERG LD, OLNEY M, CHOY F. METABOLISM OF VITAMIN C IN RHEUMATIC FEVER. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1938;61(4):552–561. doi:10.1001/archinte.1938.00180090032003