An Enquiry into the Role of Cobalt in the Heart Disease of Chronic Beer Drinkers
The natural history of a new disease entity in chronic beer drinkers consisting of pericardial effusion, a low cardiac output, and in about half of the cases of polycythemia is presented. Normalization of the heart volume, the hemoglobin value, and the hemodynamic state was obtained in patients who stopped drinking. Further evidence of the importance of cobalt in the development of the disease is presented. All patients drank beer to which cobalt was added and the disease was not seen in chronic alcoholics drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages. In view of the rather small quantity of cobalt consumed, an hypothesis is formulated which attributes the cobalt toxicity in chronic alcoholics, to a dietary deficiency of sulfhydryl-groups containing amino acids and a dietary deficiency of protein.
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.