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February 1961

Human Congenital Anomalies: Present Status of Knowledge

Author Affiliations

Research Department, the National Foundation, 800 Second Ave. (17).

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(2):249-254. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020030113017

In the short space of a century the combined efforts of medical men and scientists in other fields have virtually overcome infections, at least the lethal types. The word "epidemiology" has taken on new meaning. Only rarely is epidemiology concerned now with infective patients, susceptible and immune people, and their inter-relationships. Epidemiologists are turning their attention to chronic diseases, degenerative conditions, and congenital malformations. Their study of environment and disease has taken on new parameters unheard of 100 years ago. Air pollution, the many kinds of radiation, chemicals used as preservatives and in packaging of foods, chemicals used as sprays to control insect invasion and as weed killers are all suspect in contributing to human disease.

There is good cause for hope in treating and even eliminating certain congenital anomalies. Both governmental and private agencies are pooling their resources in an all-out attack on the multiple problems involved. One certain

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