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To the Editor:—
With reference to the report "How Is a Nation's Health Level Measured?" (JAMA189:321 [July 27] 1964), I would draw attention to the fact that the difference in reporting of data for the Netherlands is not stated correctly. Since legal provisions concerning the registration of births were laid down in this country (Civil Code, 1838), vital statistics have distinguished whether a child was alive or dead at the moment of registration of birth. This means that in the vital statistics the latter mentioned group included the stillborn and the children born alive but deceased before registration. Since Jan 1, 1924, however, children who died before registration have been included in birth statistics as born alive and have later been included as deceased in the general mortality and the infant mortality statistics. The others registered as dead have, since 1924, been classified in vital statistics as stillborn.
Idenburg J. Birth Statistics in The Netherlands. JAMA. 1964;190(13):1137. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070260049024