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October 19, 1957


Author Affiliations
Palo Alto, Calif.; New York; Boston; Dallas, Texas
From the Department of Internal Medicine, Palo Alto Medical Clinic (Dr. Lee); Professor and Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New York University College of Medicine (Dr. Rusk); Consultant, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. White); Clinical Instructor in Medicine, Southwestern Medical School (Dr. Williams).
JAMA. 1957;165(7):787-791. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980250021005

Data obtained from 19 industrial organizations and representing 251,480 workers showed that nine organizations had hired cardiac patients during the past year. Among 19,321 new employees there were 242 with cardiovascular disease, including 53 classified as rheumatic and 24 as arteriosclerotic. All of the 19 organizations reported that it was their policy to return an employee to his job after recovery from an acute cardiac episode. The total number of deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease was 181 in an employee population of almost 170,000 and only 13 % of these deaths occurred at work while 87% occurred off the job. Absenteeism is not a major problem among cardiacs; the major reason cited by industries reluctant to hire cardiacs is the threat of monetary loss from compensation claims, sickness benefits, or pension benefits. There is a need for more facts regarding the work experience of cardiac patients and the impact of workmen's compensation legislation upon employment policies; it will also be necessary to educate practicing physicians, patients, and industry concerning the rehabilitation of cardiac patients and to encourage cooperation between physicians in private practice and those in industry.