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September 7, 1970

Pernicious Anemia In Indians

Author Affiliations

Phoenix, Ariz

JAMA. 1970;213(10):1686. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170360084022

To the Editor.—  In regard to the recently published letter on "Pernicious Anemia in a Full Blooded Indian" (212:1378, 1970) Dr. Richard V. Lee erroneously concluded that pernicious anemia among American Indians is infrequent. The basis for his opinion was that only one recent case report was discovered.In 1960, Hampton reported six full-blooded Indians with pernicious anemia and referred to five other cases in Indians in Oklahoma.1 Because pernicious anemia is not an unusual event, since that date most physicians with extensive experience among Indians have not considered that separate case reports were warranted.During my 12 years as Chief of Medicine at the Public Health Service, Phoenix Indian Medical Center, I have observed at least 17 full-blooded American Indians from various tribes (mostly southwestern ones) with unequivocal pernicious anemia. I have one such patient on my ward at this time. A similar frequency of pernicious anemia