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July 21, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(3):202. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590300042015

The report of Dr. Thomas Lewis and his associates of the Hampstead Military Hospital1 should be read by every American physician who expects to take part in the care of our own troops. The report deals with a syndrome which was first described during the Civil War by Da Costa as the "irritable heart of soldiers." The symptoms are not unknown in civil life, and patients suffering with similar disorders are familiar to every physician. Under the stress of war, however, these disorders become so much more numerous as to constitute a medical problem of real importance. It is altogether probable that the majority of the patients carry into their military careers the underlying factors for the development of the symptoms, and that the rôle of war is a provocative, rather than an actually causative, one; in other words, if these men had continued to live their normal lives,

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