All those I spoke to believed this to be the result of vitamin D deficiency, which they attributed to the covering of girls from early adolescence. The degree of covering might vary between countries, and between rural and urban situations, but it was becoming increasingly common to see total covering, including the wearing of black gloves and socks.
It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that a sudden limiting of exposure to sunlight following a comparatively sun-filled childhood, and unaccompanied by any dietary compensation, could have serious effects on a body undergoing the major changes of adolescence.
The circumstances of the nuns Dr Katme refers to, being fully formed adults not intending to bear children, would not seem to involve the same risks.
M. R. SWINBANK
16 JuneReuse content