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August 29, 1966

The Orange People

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine, University of Tennessee, and the Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis.

JAMA. 1966;197(9):730-731. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110090094031

THE human race comes in various colors: white, yellow, brown, black, and all graduations in between. The American aborigines are described as Red Men and physicians are accustomed to seeing people gray with shock or blue with cyanosis. Yet to see a human as orange as an orange is so startling as to deserve comment—and to see two such cases merits reporting them, especially since no previous emphasis on such bizarre discoloration of patients can be found in medical literature.

The parents of orange are the primary colors yellow and red, a fact as old as the history of pigments. Certain foodstuffs have a high content of the yellow pigment carotene, such as carrots and squash; and certain others have a high content of the red pigment lycopene, notably tomatoes and beets. Yellowish discoloration of the skin and other body tissues with carotene is referred to as carotenemia, a not

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