Document Detail

Konzo associated with war in Mozambique.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9391509     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We report an epidemic of konzo, symmetric spastic paraparesis associated with cassava consumption and cyanide exposure: 384 patients were treated in rehabilitation centres; the prevalence rate in a badly affected area was 30/1000. Most patients were children over 3 and women. Owing to war, communities turned to bitter cassava as their staple and took shortcuts in its processing. When the war ended, they continued to depend on inadequately processed bitter cassava. The epidemic lasted 2 years (the last year of war and the first of peace) with peaks each year during the cassava harvest. Although most cases were reported from rural inland areas, patients also came from small towns and the coast. School children had raised urinary thiocyanate and linamarin and low inorganic sulphate concentrations. Urinary thiocyanate values were lower than those previously reported in konzo epidemics, probably because we collected specimens before the cassava harvest and epidemic peak. The necessary conditions for konzo were present: intensive cultivation of bitter casava, insufficient processing, a probable high cyanide intake, and a low intake of protein-rich foods.
J Cliff; D Nicala; F Saute; R Givragy; G Azambuja; A Taela; L Chavane; J Howarth
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH     Volume:  2     ISSN:  1360-2276     ISO Abbreviation:  Trop. Med. Int. Health     Publication Date:  1997 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-12-18     Completed Date:  1997-12-18     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9610576     Medline TA:  Trop Med Int Health     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1068-74     Citation Subset:  IM; X    
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique.
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MeSH Terms
Age Distribution
Child, Preschool
Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
Disease Outbreaks*
Hydrogen Cyanide / poisoning*
Manihot / adverse effects*
Middle Aged
Mozambique / epidemiology
Paraparesis, Tropical Spastic / epidemiology,  etiology*,  urine
Rural Health
Sex Distribution
Thiocyanates / urine
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Dietary Proteins; 0/Thiocyanates; 302-04-5/thiocyanate; 74-90-8/Hydrogen Cyanide

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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