To the Editor In a Special Communication published in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Doust et al1 raised timely concerns about modifying disease definitions, which, in essence, addresses what constitutes a disease and is a fundamental question for modern medicine where diseases are often diagnosed without symptoms and signs. However, the checklist proposed mixed the criteria for modifying a disease definition (items 6 through 8 in Table 2) with the reasons (item 3) and consequences (items 1, 2, and 4) of making the change. For defining a disease, the risk of the condition and the benefits and harms of interventions should be set as primary determinants.
Yang Z, Fan H, Tang J. Considerations Concerning Disease Redefinition. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(12):1872–1873. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6139
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