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Article
May 18, 1901

A STUDY OF THE ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY OF RHEUMATISM WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO "RHEUMATIC DIATHESIS."

Author Affiliations

DES MOINES, IOWA.

JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(20):1386-1389. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470200026001g
Abstract

The term "diathesis" has so little to commend its use in the scientific terminology of medicine that it is fast falling into disrepute. Indeed, it would seem that it is destined, sooner or later, to lose its place in medical nomenclature along with the "humors" of Galen. In view of the ambiguity of the term then, I will define diathesis as that hereditary condition of the body organism which appears to be present as a necessary initial factor in the production of the disease.

The disease which we ordinarily call rheumatism is only one manifested form of this malady. Indeed, there appear to be many varied conditions of rheumatism. Thus we may speak of rheumatism in a plural sense, in that it does not appear to exist as a single entity. It should be understood, however, that this construction is but a temporary one, and that, when we shall have

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