To say simply that a patient with cardiovascular disease is permanently impaired does not tell the whole story. The varied degrees of impairment should also be considered. How does cardiovascular disease influence a person's ability to live a normal life? How is the degree of impairment evaluated? Physicians and laymen for years have tried to answer these questions in order that such organizations as the Veterans Administration, insurance companies, the Social Security Administration, workmen's compensation boards, and the courts might render equitable decisions.
The medical profession has a new guide to the evaluation of permanent impairment of the cardiovascular system. This appeared in The Journal, March 5, page 1049. In setting up this guide, the A. M. A. Committee on Medical Rating of Physical Impairment established three categories: heart disease; hypertensive vascular disease; and vascular diseases affecting the extremities. Each category is divided into a series of classes, each with