Scurvy reappears

Scurvy is back:

However, newly released statistics show that the number of children admitted to hospital with scurvy soared by over 50 per cent in the past three years.

Released following a parliamentary question, the figures show that in 2004/05 there were 61 children admitted with scurvy in England.

But by 2007/08, the latest year for which figures are available, there were no fewer than 94 cases: up 54 per cent in three years.

Well, yes, given the numbers,…..well I think we could probably find 100 kids across the country suffering from all sorts of diseases that we thought we\’d got rid of. But the bit that interested was this:

Ursula Arens, of the British Dietetic Association, said it was not possible to say how the children were getting scurvy: whether it was from a poor diet, or as a by-product of other diseases such as cancer.

\’There may be examples of children just living on bread and jam and nothing else because of poverty,\’ she said.

I rather doubt that as a cause actually. Jam is a pretty good source of Vitamin C. Not as good as fresh fruit to be sure but pretty good nonetheless:

Fresh peeled pineapple fruit contains an average ascorbic acid content of 24.8?mg/100?g of fruit. During the juice making process, peeling led to the highest percentage loss of vitamin C (41.8 per cent) followed by exhausting (23.7 per cent). Processing of pineapples into jam was revealed to be most destructive towards ascorbic acid (a loss of 46.8 per cent) as compared to juice making (38.5 per cent) and sorbet preparation (15.5 per cent).

We\’ll put that remark down to someone just saying anything off the top of their head shall we?

5 comments on “Scurvy reappears

  1. Its a sign of the times, and my ever increasing cynicism, that I read that article not to be educated about a potential problem in the country, but to find out which fake charities are looking to justify their existence.

    The 5-a-day crowd gets a mention and the BDA links to all the usual suspects like Change 4 Life. There’s also appears to be a new one to investigate – Move For Health.

    So now I don’t know whether to be more worried over the apparent rise in a preventable illness or that I’m being primed to hand over yet more taxes to a bunch of self righteous prigs who will use it to lecture me about my own lifestyle.

  2. I think the usual cliche is “tea and toast”, I have had one patient with scurvy in my 15 years of practice and that’s what she had. Spongebob Squarepants’ album has a great song by the way called “We Got Scurvy” by Pink (?), I use it to threaten my child if he doesn’t eat fruit.

  3. Actually best source is 1000mg tablets twice daily. Getting scurvy in the UK in 2009 is either a) indicative of a very, very serious underlying healthcare problem or b) a lifestyle choice. Either way, it’s nothing to worry about. 94 people a year is below the signal to noise ratio.

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