Although mention has been repeatedly made of the apparently greater frequency of rheumatic manifestations in some families than in others, the newer methods of study have revealed evidence of this relationship in a most convincing manner. Wilson and Schweitzer1 selected 112 rheumatic families for study in an attempted appraisal of the role of environment, contagion and heredity in their relation to the observed familial incidence of the disease. These families comprised 468 children over 3 years of age, equally divided as to sex and observed for periods of from three to eighteen years.
Careful records were kept of the patients and their families in a manner similar to that employed by McPhedran and Opie in their studies of tuberculosis in families. After pointing out the possible inaccuracy inherent in the material and in the method of analysis, these authors concluded that there does not appear to be a direct
FAMILIAL NATURE OF RHEUMATIC DISEASES. JAMA. 1938;111(6):534–535. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790320046017
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