Heart disease in children is not encountered as frequently in Charleston as it is in places with colder climates. In the past nine years there have been recorded only forty-three cases in a small but active pediatric service at Roper Hospital. Of these, in four cases the condition was classified as congenital, in twenty-five cases as rheumatic and in thirteen cases as nutritional. Hence, in this locality cardiac disturbances of nutritional origin are relatively important and by no means rare.
Much has been written about the heart in cases of beriberi and about the association of cardiac enlargement and failure with a deficiency of vitamin B1. Some years ago I reported1 several cases which I thought were instances of beriberi, and possibly the cases considered here are of the same nature, though it seems doubtful that the absence of only one vitamin can be blamed for the symptoms.
WARING JI. NUTRITIONAL HEART DISEASE IN CHILDREN. Am J Dis Child. 1938;55(4):750-760. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980100086004