Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Clinicians tend to think of diseases as being immutable, existing in nature like elements of the periodic table or the planets. The medical literature reinforces this myth, implying that changes are a result of increasing scientific knowledge moving medicine toward better and more accurate descriptions of these natural kind concepts. In fact, diseases are not fixed, and even with common diseases (such as diabetes, depression, and anemia), their definitions have changed considerably over time, with significant, but often unrecognized harmful, potential consequences for patients. What constitutes a disease may change in 1 of 3 ways: (1) a change in the formal definition, (2) a change of tests, or (3) a shift of the implicit threshold.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Doust JA, Bell KJL, Glasziou PP. Potential Consequences of Changing Disease Classifications. JAMA. Published online February 07, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22373
Create a personal account or sign in to: