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Evaulation of a single-visit cardiovascular examination
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  • Description:
    The uniform, single-visit examination frequently used for population studies differs both in objectives and procedures from the usual clinical examination. In clinical practice the objectives are evaluation and management of the individual patient. Usually the patient is under study for some complaint for which he has sought medical advice. If the diagnosis or treatment seems obvious on clinical grounds, the workup may be minimal. On the other hand, if the diagnostic clues are equivocal there may be an extended series of tests and consultations, and the patient may be under observation for appreciable periods before a diagnosis is established. Diagnosis may be modified by the patient’s response to treatment or by his subsequent clinical history. There is, in short, a variable diagnostic workup and an extended opportunity to confirm or rule out the original impressions.

    Clearly, this procedure is not well suited for survey studies. The National Health Survey in planning for the Health Examination Survey1 required a single-visit examination which would yield cardiovascular findings and diagnoses in a standardized fashion on each and every examinee. These needs prompted the National Health Survey to contract with die Michael Reese Hospital to develop and evaluate such an examination. Identical needs existed in connection with plans for prospective studies in Chicago on the epidemiology of cardiovascular-renal diseases.

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