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July 12, 1952

Arthritis and the Rheumatic Diseases

JAMA. 1952;149(11):1075. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930280097029

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In this book, a well-qualified orthopedist explains the problems of arthritis to the layman. He has set himself a difficult task and has not accomplished it satisfactorily in all the chapters, the one on degenerative joint disease being a notable exception. The discussion on rheumatoid arthritis, particularly its etiology, is confusing. Perhaps it would have been simpler if he had said that no one is aware of its etiology. The enthusiasm of the author for the sustained therapeutic effectiveness of the hormonal therapy of rheumatoid arthritis seems premature at this time for lay readers, and the chapters on gout are outmoded by presentday concepts of the disease. Nevertheless, the book is attractively printed with no obvious misprints or typographical errors, and it serves a useful purpose in that it encourages the patient with arthritis. The main criticism stems from the author's apparent desire to simplify a problem that defies simplification.

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