This latest study focused on the most deprived households in the UK, selected using a screening questionnaire which assessed factors such as car ownership, employment status, household income and housing benefits.
A total of 433 men and 876 women were identified for the study.
Measurements of plasma vitamin C levels found that 46 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women were found to be either deficient in vitamin C (less than 11micromol-1) or depleted in vitamin C (11-28micromol-1).
The researchers, from University College London, conclude that health practitioners should consider vitamin C deficiency in patients presenting with purpuric rash, hyperplastic haemorrhagic gingival enlargement, limping or low-grade inflammation.
They also warn that some patients with scurvy will only have vague symptoms such as aching muscles and fatigue.
Journal of Public Health Online 2008
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