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Arthritis and its related musculoskeletal disorders constitute the most common chronic illnesses in the United States. These conditions adversely affect the quality of life of those who are struck by them, require increased use of health care resources, and, because they are the leading cause of disability in the United States, have a significant impact on the national economy. Physicians and other health care workers in many disciplines have been involved in the care and study of patients with these diseases. As a result, our understanding of and ability to treat these diseases have improved continuously. This Atlas of Rheumatology is designed to help clinicians learn about this group of diseases and develop an understanding of their possible causes, clinical features, laboratory findings, and treatments, using an attractive pictorial format. Because more than 100 sepa­ rate types of arthritis have been described, unfortunately all could not be included. The illus­ trations shown in the Atlas have been carefully selected by recognized experts, who served as authors of the eight chapters, to provide the reader with the essential information needed to get a clear picture of these important diseases. For their successful efforts I am deeply grateful. I am also indebted to editorial workers who have maintained high standards to create a clear, attractive final product.

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