A review of 50 patients with a clinical ecology diagnosis of environmentally induced illness is reported. Histories were extremely heterogenous. Eight patients had no symptoms or disease, 11 had symptoms caused by preexisting nonenvironmental disease, and 31 had multiple subjective symptoms. No consistent physical findings or laboratory abnormalities were found. Serum levels of immunoglobulins and complement, and circulating lymphocyte, B-cell, T-cell, and T-cell subset counts were not significantly abnormal. The diagnostic provocationneutralization procedure, environmental restrictions, and dietary advice of clinical ecology produced further symptoms and fear of environmental and food contaminants. The patients with chronic multisystem complaints had characteristic symptoms of psychosomatic illness, but this study does not support the clinical ecology theory that psychosomatic illness may be an expression of food and chemical sensitivities induced by the toxic effect of environmental chemicals on the immune system.
(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:145-149)
Terr AI. Environmental Illness: A Clinical Review of 50 Cases. Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(1):145–149. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360130179024
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: