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March 22, 1985

Patient Education Re: Nuclear War

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1985;253(12):1721. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350360047008

To the Editor.—  The threat of nuclear war is the greatest public health hazard today.1,2 Accordingly, multiple articles on the medical consequences of nuclear war and commentaries advocating greater physician involvement in educating the public have been published.1-3 At least one recent poll4 shows that most Americans consider the possibility of nuclear war as their number 1 concern and 79% of Americans are in a favor of a nuclear freeze.5 I would like to relate my personal experience in educating my own patients about the medical hazards of nuclear war and nuclear winter.I developed a short brochure that describes the effects of a single nuclear explosion, the concepts of nuclear winter, the effect of the nuclear age on children, and the inability of physicians to deal with the medical effects of radiation and nuclear war. In addition, a section was included on what people could do