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February 18, 1961

The Story to Be Learned from Blood SamplesIts Value to the Epidemiologist

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine and the WHO Reference World Serum Bank.

JAMA. 1961;175(7):601-605. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040070003014

EPIDEMIOLOGY is no longer a subject whosemajor interest centers wholly in the public health field. Its value is becoming more apparent to both pathologists and clinicians, in that this approach points to new ways of investigating the pathogenesis of disease. For example, there are the studies on presumed relationships between smoking and lung cancer, between blood lipids and cardiovascular lesions, and between the acquisition of German measles by a pregnant mother and the development of fetal abnormalities, and, indeed, many others. Textbook descriptions of clinical diseases are often considered inadequate today unless a section on epidemiology accompanies the other sections dealing with such subjects as etiology, pathology, and others. The teaching of epidemiology is finding a place in the curricula of medical schools; indeed, the only fundamental difference between clinical and epidemiologic investigation of disease is that the former deals with the individual and the latter with groups. It

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