Urov Disease

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Urov Disease


(also called Kashin-Beck disease), an endemic disease of the joints involving impairment of bone formation and of growth, as well as premature degeneration of the bones and joints. Urov disease results in osteoarthrosis accompanied by deformation and restricted joint mobility. It was described in detail in the mid-19th century by the Russian physician N. I. Kashin, who observed an endemic focus in the region of the Urov River. In the early 20th century the disease was studied by the Russian physician E. V. Beck.

Urov disease occurs in endemic focuses in Eastern Siberia, northern China, and northern Korea. It is believed to result from excess intake of strontium and barium, insufficient intake of calcium, and the ingestion of cereal grains infected with the fungus Fusarium sporotrichiella.

The disease is most common in children aged six to 15 years and is manifested by pain in the joints and muscles and by muscular weakness. A later symptom is symmetrical deformation of the interphalangeal, carpal, and ulnar joints, resulting in disturbance of their motility, in muscular atrophy, and in altered gait; the disease is also accompanied by symptoms of myocarditis, chronic gastritis, and anemia. With early diagnosis and prompt treatment the disease’s development may be arrested. Treatment involves physiotherapy and balneotherapy and is directed toward improving the functioning of the joints, controlling muscular contractures, and eliminating pain.


Kashin, N. I. Svedeniia o rasprostranenii zoba i kretinizma v predelakh Rossiiskoi imperii. Moscow, 1862.
Beck, E. V. “K voprosu ob obezobrazhivaiushchem endemicheskom osteoartrite (osteoarthritis deformans endemica) v Zabaikal’skoi oblasti.” Russkii vrach, 1906, no. 3.
Sergievskii, F. P. Urovskaia Kashina-Beka bolezn’. Chita, 1948.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.