Every clinician who has come face to face with the varied manifestations of disease must have been impressed from time to time with the markedly unlike degrees of resistance and susceptibility shown by different patients. To some extent, such variability may be attributable to the varying virulence of the infective agent, if such an etiologic factor is involved, or to differences in the primary damage inflicted on the organism. Yet even when these extraneous influences are taken into account, persons may still exhibit pronounced differences in their ability to meet the disease foes. Owing to the lack of a more precise definition, it has become customary to speak of constitutional differences, thereby implying some systemic weakness or strength in the attack on disease.
It would, indeed, mark a distinct step in advance in the understanding of both the theory and the practice of medicine if a scientific explanation of varying
CONSTITUTIONAL RESISTANCE AND SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISEASE. JAMA. 1923;81(9):750-751. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650090048018