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To the Editor:—
The article in The Journal, July 5, by Dr. J. W. Thompson on the clinical status of a group of Negro sharecroppers provokes discussion. An evaluation of the health of Negro sharecroppers is made on the basis of a sample of 24 subjects on whom a history was taken and a physical examination made. The data gleaned by the author seemed to indicate a dangerous state. Yet he concludes that he doubts that the "Negro sharecroppers are apt to be in a lamentable state of ill health." Finally he stafes that all but 1 were in good general condition and not far below the excellence found in a group of Harvard students—who did not show a single abnormal finding.I recapitulate Dr. Thompson's observations: pyorrhea in 50 per cent, syphilis in 8 per cent, pellagra in 4 per cent, pulmonary signs—not investigated—in 8 per cent, possible heart
Krimsky JM. HEALTH OF SHARECROPPERS. JAMA. 1941;117(23):2000. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820490074028