ORTION, EDWARD J.: American Hospital of Paris, Paris, France (Oct. 22, 1938).

 

During twenty-five years of continuous practice in France, the author gathered information on the different peoples of Europe in his private prac­tice; or at the American Hospital of Paris; or during the World War, when lie took care of men from all countries involved, including Germans, Austrians, and representatives of all other Central European peoples. His observations lead him to conclude, as to caries, that all peoples north of the latitude of Paris are more generally afflicted with caries than those south of that latitude. The ratio increases northward, with predominance of caries in the Norwegian and Swedish peoples. There is noticeable absence of caries among people born and residing on the Mediterranean Basin, regardless of races or classes. This general difference holds good for all of Europe, as far east as Greece, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

Although modifications of diet have not controlled caries in most cases, the reason for this negative result, for the peoples included in the author’s observa­tions, seems to be related to their normal habitual diet. Thus, grapes do not grow north of Paris and the northern peoples, who are not wine-drinking, generally drink highly alcoholized beverages distilled from grain or potato, notwithstanding the benefits derived from consumption of beer, which has high vitamin and low alcohol contents. Owing to climatic conditions they get only small proportions of green vegetables or fruits, and are more dependent on protein foods. The peoples south of the latitude of Paris are generously provided with green vegetables and fruits ; are all wine drinkers, but do not generally drink distilled liquors ; and large proportions of vitamins, calcium and phosphate, derived from the habitual diet, account for the extraordinary condition of their teeth, even under the ex­tremely unhygienic conditions that prevail among the lower classes. Inclusion of sugar in the diet is also an important caries-producing factor.

Reference: None submitted.

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