Thiamin deficiency and prevention of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. A major public health problem

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Abstract

There has been long-standing debate in Australia about the role of thiamin deficiency in the aetiology of the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, the prevalence of the syndrome itself and the preventive measures that might be undertaken to reduce the prevalence rates. A literature review, and the results of a study of the follow-up arrangements of patients who were admitted with Korsakoff's syndrome to the two major South Australian psychiatric hospitals indicate that the syndrome is a major public health problem which requires immediate political intervention. Recommendations are made that a national policy of the fortification of flour and bread with thiamin, as well as of alcoholic beverages, should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-219
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Volume145
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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