Skin Color as a Clinical Datum

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To the editor: Mansbach and colleagues (1) in a brief report mention the patient's skin color twice within two paragraphs but give little other sociologic, economic, or genetic information. Skin color as a designation of race is an arbitrary sociologic classification and rarely, if ever, adds to our diagnostic, pathogenic, or therapeutic knowledge. Some journals now remove references to race in articles to be published, except of course, where race has, or may have, implications for the acquisition, course, or treatment of a disease. Our knowledge of a patient's history would be better served if his race, when pertinent, were

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