Annals of Internal Medicine: 75 years of medical history

PHILADELPHIA -- (July 2, 2002) Weakened by illness, a postman entered a famous clinic one day in the summer of 1925. He had lost 14 pounds in four weeks and said his legs were partly paralyzed. But his goiter, or enlarged thyroid gland, had decreased in size. "The cure is working wonders," he told his doctor. That postman's case would become the topic of a lecture published in the first issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, July 1927.

The "cure" was iodized salt, newly added to his diet. The voluntary addition of iodine to salt had been introduced in 1924, presenting a marketing opportunity for manufacturers. But for some patients, excess iodine would shift their thyroids into overdrive, or hyperthyroidism. (The amount of iodine enrichment would later be reduced, with wide public-health success.)

In the doctor's lecture on iodine overdose, he faulted manufacturers for their "widespread advertising" of iodized products as goiter cures, and also "the extreme gullibility of the public." If that physician read Annals of Internal Medicine today, he might be surprised and heartened to see the public has access to the same medical journal as physicians. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Annals of Internal Medicine now includes, as a regular feature, versions of its medical articles written for the public.

The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) publishes Annals of Internal Medicine for adult-medicine specialists worldwide.

Annals of Internal Medicine is a peer-reviewed journal and the only specialty journal among the five most highly cited medical journals in the world. As Annals of Internal Medicine marks its 75th anniversary, it is reviewing its past 25 years, having published a golden issue in 1977. That quarter-century has been impressive: the journal went from once- to twice-monthly, published a controversial call for universal access to care in 1990, and tackled mammography and cholestero

Contact: Lynda Teer
American College of Physicians

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