The report by RuDusky in this issue of The Journal (p 1004) directs our attention once more to the existing disabilities from heart disease in our youth population. In this study the extent of disability was evaluated in military registrants during the period from 1960 to 1962. RuDusky's findings constitute a sample of what might be expected in the way of a national military manpower problem from cardiac disability in the event of a major mobilization 20 years after World War II. In this 20-year period, advances in diagnosis, in medical and surgical therapy, and in prophylaxis of rheumatic and congenital heart disease should have produced an effective reduction in both these disabilities. We would expect the current incidence of rheumatic heart disease and disqualifying congenital defects in youths to be greatly reduced from that found in 1941.
As reported, rejections in 20,597 registrants from a regional locality in 1961,
Mattingly TW. HEART DISEASE AND MILITARY SERVICE. JAMA. 1963;185(13):1036-1037. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060130054015