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January 7, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(1):33-36. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800010035008

The problems of gastro-enterology and cardiology in a given case are often closely related. Present day emphasis on the qualifications of a specialist increases the importance of retaining a broad outlook such as had the general practitioner of the old school. In the physician's efforts to become expert in a chosen field he must not become a localist. Most patients consult, or are referred to, the cardiologist with the belief that their condition is primarily due to a disorder of the heart, but many of their symptoms are of gastro-enterologic origin.

A study of symptoms reveals that the most frequent gastrointestinal symptoms encountered in the practice of cardiology are flatulence, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, jaundice and abdominal pain. It might be said that every patient with cardiac disease at some time or another complains of a gastrointestinal symptom. Confusion often arises in the interpretation of these symptoms.

A great deal