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May 30, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(5):457. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690050081014

The entity currently known as iatrogenic heart disease is, as the adjective signifies, caused by physicians. It is from the physician that the patient receives the impression that he has heart disease. This may occur as the result of direct statements or acts of the physician or indirectly by the patient's interpretation of certain words or actions of the physician. The patient most fearful of heart disease is the one in whom symptoms that fix the thought of heart disease in his mind and perpetuate his fears are most likely to develop. While there are no conclusive statistics to indicate the frequency of this condition, several reports point to its importance, ranging from the conservative estimate of Friedman,1 who found that at least 10% of the hundreds of cases he examined were either caused or "fixed" by some physician, to the claim of Oille2 that almost 60% of

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