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May 11, 1940

The Prognosis of Open Pulmonary Tuberculosis: A Clinical-Statistical Analysis

JAMA. 1940;114(19):1954-1955. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810190116036

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Berg presents a review of the available literature on the prognosis in pulmonary tuberculosis. He then reports 6,156 cases in which tubercle bacilli were present in the sputum which had been seen in the city of Gothenburg between 1910 and 1934. The patients were all adults. He found that from 70 to 80 per cent of patients suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis with bacilli in the sputum die within ten years. While the death rate is highest during the early years after the diagnosis is made and gradually decreases as the years pass, it is still four times as high as the normal death rate among those who survive twenty years. The mortality depends somewhat on the age at which the disease develops. For example, among those of from 15 to 19 years 82.3 per cent die within ten years, while of those who contract the disease between 35 and 39

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