We are approaching the end of a study which has occupied us continuously for fifteen years. The task that was set was an attempt to describe the natural history of rheumatic fever, presumably a single disease. The results have been accomplished through the cooperation of many persons of good will.1 The brief descriptions and the generalizations now possible could not have been made without the great labor or the continued reflection which have been devoted to this task.
It is not too much to say that we know the behavior of rheumatic fever, at least in this locality and at this time. It is possible now toseparate knowledge which is complete and definitive from information which is partial and tentative. It is possible, furthermore, to interpret the latter in terms of the former. The length of time during which we have been familiar with this subject has made it
COHN AE, LINGG C. THE NATURAL HISTORY OF RHEUMATIC CARDIAC DISEASE: A STATISTICAL STUDY: I. ONSET AND DURATION OF DISEASE. JAMA. 1943;121(1):1–8. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840010003001
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