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January 1, 1938

Report of the Committee on Tuberculosis Among Negroes: A Five-Year Study and What It Has Accomplished

JAMA. 1938;110(1):71. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790010073033

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Abstract

Southern rural communities, according to this report, are largely unable to finance adequate tuberculosis control measures. The greatest disparity between white and Negro death rates, however, is found in the Northern states, where the "colored mortality is more than five times that of the white population." The study led to the belief that, while there were dysgenic racial factors among the Negroes in relation to tuberculosis, "poor housing, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, and lack of education... combined to constitute an environmental factor which accounts in a very considerable part for the excessively high death rates from tuberculosis." Measures of institutional control, considered of so great importance in tuberculosis, are rendered difficult, if not impossible, by the fact that the states containing the largest Negro population have financial resources wholly inadequate to establish the necessary institutions. Emphasis is placed on the need for developing a trained Negro personnel capable of meeting

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