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Prevention of Chronic Illness: Chronic Illness in the United States.

Howard A. Rusk, M.D.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(4):843-844. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260160167031.
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In 1946, four national professional organizations—the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Public Health Association, and American Public Welfare Association—formed a Joint Commission on Chronic Disease. When the National Health Assembly in 1948 brought out the fact that chronic disease is the nation's number one medical problem, this joint commission in 1949 was formed into a new voluntary organization, the Commission on Chronic Illness, to study the problems of chronic disease, illness, and disability.

It is understandable that one of the first projects of the Commission on Chronic Illness was to hold a National Conference on the Preventive Aspects of Chronic Disease. As early as 1947 the four national sponsoring organizations for the Commission on Chronic Illness had said, "The basic approach to chronic disease must be preventive. Otherwise the problems created by chronic diseases will grow larger with time, and the hope of any substantial decline in their


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