That the deforming types of arthritis have been existing from earliest historic times can scarcely be doubted. In mummies exhumed from Roman tombs, the disease has been definitely recognized, as is, for example, described by Moore.1 In the treatise of Sudhoff,2 however, the declaration is made that the disease was extraordinarily common in Egypt and also among Germanic tribes along the Baltic, probably because of the dampness of the climate. In England, gout and chronic joint conditions have long been almost endemic, although the former is far less common now-a-days. On the continent, however, there was formerly less mention of the disease and Trousseau3 commented on its rarity. At present the disease is usually encountered sporadically, although Beek4 found a region in Siberia where from 6 to 46 per cent. of the population, chiefly children between 8 and 13 years, have a chronic osteoarthritis.
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