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August 1940


Arch Surg. 1940;41(2):236-243. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210020032005

With the increased pace to which civilized man must adapt himself, there are several diseases accompanying his highly energized manner of living. Frequently the physician is called on to treat diabetes, peptic ulcer, essential hypertension, exophthalmic goiter, diseases of the coronary arteries and nervous and mental diseases. These conditions are exceedingly rare in primitive man and are uncommon in the lower ranks of civilized man. The more highly civilized man becomes, the more prevalent they seem to be.

As man has become less concerned with fighting, hunting and other predominantly physical activities and more concerned with mental activities, the characteristic mental and emotional mechanism has continued to increase relatively in size and in dominance until there are now also increasing the diseases I have mentioned, which are in large part due to overactivity of the kinetic system. Evidence indicates that the kinetic system may, by its excessive activity, interfere with

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