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Article
March 2, 1957

CONGENITAL DEFECTS

JAMA. 1957;163(9):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970440067021

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  In the Dec. 29 issue of The Journal, page 1651, Fraser raises several points relative to an article by me on causes and prevention of developmental defects published in the July 14, 1956, issue of The Journal, page 1047. In this article I used the word "stress" many times, for example: "understanding and control of environmental stresses takes precedence over genetic considerations in approaching the human problem"; Dr. Fraser quite properly asks "What exactly does he mean by stress?" I use this word in its everyday meaning. Thus one definition of the noun given by Webster is "Pressure; strain; especially intense strain... hence urgency; significance."For a mother to have had a mitral valvulotomy in the first trimester of pregnancy, a head-on collision while driving a car, or German measles or typhoid or to have been near the atom bomb burst at Hiroshima or the Texas City

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