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April 13, 1912

Association News

Author Affiliations

Bureau of the Census, Washington, D. C.

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(15):1134-1135. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260040150022

A NOMENCLATURE OF DISEASES FOR THE UNITED STATES  A precise nomenclature of diseases is very important for the advancement of medical science and is absolutely essential for thoroughly comparable statistics of general mortality, morbidity, and for hospital statistics, as well as for the comparison of individual results. The need for such a nomenclature is becoming yearly more urgent, with the rapid extension of the registration area for vital statistics, the application of more refined clinical and laboratory methods for the differentiation of diseases, and with the greatly increased knowledge of the causation of diseases and the special interest now taken in diseases of the tropics. The great desideratum would seem to be that each definite pathologic entity should have one definite name, by which it could be everywhere recognized, and concerning the precise application of which there would be no shadow of doubt. Questions of classification, or even of the

Copy can be obtained on request from the Director of the Census
American Journal of Public Health (The Journal of the American Public Health Association), January, 1912.
The title need not in fact appear in the tabular list, but only the subdivisions, thus: 1. Typhoid fever. 2. Typhus fever. 3A. Malta fever. 313. Relapsing fever. Etc. The international reference numbers are retained so that comparisons can be made readily and with certainty with the statistics of any country employing the system. As a matter of fact, there was only one death from relapsing fever in the registration area of the United States for the year 1910 out of 805,412 from all causes, and only two, on the average, for the period 1900-1909.
Castellani and Chalmers: Manual of Tropical Medicine.