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January 9, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(2):120-121. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780020038012

Almost all recent statistics on the mortality from heart disease indicate a rapid rise in deaths from this cause. Is this increase real or apparent? Several factors enter into the gross figures. The rise in the average age of the population is an obvious one. The method of reporting heart disease on death certificates also affects the gross figures. The true interpretation, therefore, resolves itself into an analysis of the elements affecting mortality from heart disease into their various components. With this in view, Hedley1 has reported a series of studies on the mortality from heart disease.

There is a difference, he points out, between the methods of clinical recording of heart disease and the mortality records as obtained from death certificates. The salient feature in modern clinical diagnosis and classification is the grouping of diseases and disorders of the heart on an etiologic basis. Thus, one of the

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