In the October, 1962, issue of the Archives of Environmental Health1 appears a definition and classification of 3 common respiratory diseases: chronic bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. This statement was prepared by a committee of the American Thoracic Society and was written for ultimate inclusion in a new publication, Diagnostic Standards for Nontuberculous Respiratory Disease. It was originally published in the American Review of Respiratory Diseases2 and appears in the Archives of Environmental Health prior to its inclusion in Diagnostic Standards in order to provide a trial period during which clinicians, pulmonary physiologists, and pathologists can put the definitions to the test of daily usage.
There is no more difficult or frustrating task than the definition of a disease of unknown etiology, particularly if there is no clearcut laboratory or x-ray manifestation which separates it from other entities. Each of the diseases defined in the statement presents this problem;
Ebert RH. RESPIRATORY DISEASES. JAMA. 1962;182(3):292–293. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050420068019
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