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October 17, 1931

The Inborn Factors in Disease: An Essay.

JAMA. 1931;97(16):1174. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730160056043

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It is common knowledge that no two individuals, some say even identical twins, are exactly alike. Many anatomic and physiologic differences are often plainly evident; others, especially the chemical ones, may be brought out only by careful examination. These inborn factors may have a definite and often inescapable bearing on the health history. Various terms, not always sharply differentiated, are used to denote these individual or racial peculiarities: hereditary influence, the constitution of the person, diathesis, predisposition, susceptibility, natural immunity or vulnerability as concerns infections, idiosyncrasy. These and other similar terms are often employed without a full realization that there is much concerning them that is not yet understood. Unless one is well informed in these matters one may with advantage read this timely and fair-minded essay of Garrod. Facts and theories are clearly and briefly stated by one thoroughly competent to handle this quite recondite subject. Moreover, it will

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