SINCE THE ORIGINAL description in West Africa by Cecily Williams, the nutritional deficiency disease characterized by edema, hypoproteinemia, fatty liver, skin depigmentation, and hair changes has become one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases of the young child.1 The term used to describe this condition—kwashiorkor—is Ghanaian and apparently has a double meaning constituting a grim pun. The first meaning, "red or yellow boy," provides the clinical description of the patient while the second, the "Dispossessed," poetically illustrates the etiology, since the disease results from the dispossession of the victim from the mother's breast by the succeeding sibling. It is the purpose of this communication to place on record the occurrence of a case of kwashiorkor in a member of a dispossessed community in New York City.
Report of a Case
A 10-month-old Puerto Rican boy was first seen in the outpatient department of the Morrisania City Hospital in June