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January 31, 1959


Author Affiliations

Iowa City; Washington, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa

From the Department of Internal Medicine, State University of Iowa College of Medicine (Drs. January and Stoikovic); the County Extension Offices (Mr. Robb); and the Department of Public Instruction, Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Mr. Van Eschen).

JAMA. 1959;169(5):427-429. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000220007002

The occupational status of 43 men and 3 women with heart disease was studied with reference to the rehabilitative needs and potentialities of farmers. All were employed in agriculture, some with and others without changes or restrictions in their work. The most frequent diagnosis was arteriosclerotic heart disease. When reexamined one to two years later, the group showed no evidence of functional deterioration. A third examination, two to three years after the first, was possible in 30 members of the original group and gave the same result. Two patients had died of second attacks of myocardial infraction that had no apparent relation to the work they did. Methods of estimating functional cardiac capacity and prescribing a safe work load are still unsatisfactory, but this must not deter the physician from giving specific advice to agricultural workers with heart disease. He bases his recommendations not only on figures for energy expenditure and cardiac classification but also on his knowledge of the variables affecting the individual patient.