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Rev Med Interne. 2005 Nov;26(11):885-90.

[Scurvy, a re-emerging disease].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service des maladies infectieuses et tropicales, hôpital de-la-Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47-83, boulevard de l'hôpital, 75013 Paris, France.



Scurvy is the clinical manifestation of vitamin C deficiency. It is historically linked to the era of great maritime expeditions. But it is remerging in Western countries as in France.


Nowadays, scurvy mainly affects homeless populations of large occidental cities and the isolated and malnourished inhabitants of developing countries. The clinical presentations of scurvy are numerous and often misleading and its evolution without treatment is always lethal. After years of wanderings and research, the physiopathological mechanisms of scurvy were finally understood, due to the will of outstanding personalities who took the risk to brave the established superstitions in order to apply a strict medical approach.


Scurvy must still be prevented in at risk-populations. Indeed a pocket meal enriched with vitamin C is distributed to homeless people in Paris.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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