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September 12, 1966

The Athlete With A Chronic Condition

Author Affiliations

From the Student Health Service, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1966;197(11):889-890. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110110113025

The "chronic conditions" which affect athletes compose so heterogenous a mixture that it has not been possible to set forth specific guide-lines. The experiences reported here are derived exclusively from working with college and secondary school athletes. Only secondhand knowledge about professional athletes influences these observations.

I have not formulated an explicit policy on how an athlete with a chronic condition should be handled, because no policy could be sufficiently elastic or inclusive to apply to all cases. Judgments become highly individualized when based on total considerations of the circumstances involving any given case. Only basic criteria evolve, which are more or less generally applicable.

The Convulsive Disorder  A convenient approach consists of selecting an example, and examining all the facets which reflect light from it. Let us consider the athlete who gives a history of a convulsive disorder, especially one with an antecedent history of a head injury, which