• The course of chronic disease must be studied by long-term observation of individual patients. The course of heart disease was studied in 1,500 patients who had been registered for the purpose by the house and visiting staffs of a hospital.
Mechanical problems of registration and indexing were readily solved. Special problems arose from the need of following up the same patients for many years; some of these were the relation of the patient to the index, the relation of the physician to both, the maintaining of contact, and the ultimate securing of autopsy reports. So far, only 1% of the patients have been lost to contact, and autopsy data have been obtained from 60% of those who have died.
The use of punch cards has made it possible to make quick sortings according to place of registration, type of patient, and occupation. The largest etiological category has been that of congenital heart disease. Another sorting showed that 6.4% of the patients with peripheral vascular disease had symptoms of coronary artery disease. It has been possible to select groups of patients by any desired criterion for special study.
Feigenbaum LZ, Watts MSM, Thomas NC. CARDIOVASCULAR CASE PROGRESS INDEXMETHOD OF CLASSIFYING CHRONIC DISEASES, WITH MECHANISM OF LONG-TERM FOLLOW-UP AND A PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE FIRST FIFTEEN HUNDRED CASES. JAMA. 1956;161(8):673–677. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970080003002
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