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Article
February 16, 1901

HEREDITY AS A FACTOR IN THE ETIOLOGY OF PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS.

JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(7):446. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470070032002
Abstract

Conflicting opinions have at different times existed as to the importance of heredity in the etiology of pulmonary tuberculosis. It is, however, scarcely maintained any longer that the disease itself is so transmitted, but rather that it is some vice of tissue—and therefore some aberration of function—that is thus conveyed from parent to child. Rarely tuberculosis is congenital, but even then the disease is not inherited, but merely acquired by the fetus in utero from the mother through the placenta. There can be no tuberculosis without tubercle bacilli, and these bacilli can not be inherited, although the susceptibility to their invasion can be and is. Some interesting data bearing on this subject are presented in a lecture delivered recently by Thomas Oliver.1 From the statistics of the Mutual Life Insurance Company, of New York, it appears that a family history of tuberculosis indicates a liability to the disease on

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