October 18, 1947

Current Comment

JAMA. 1947;135(7):436. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890070038013

PLANNING FOR THE CHRONICALLY ILL  Last week The Journal (p. 343) published a comprehensive statement on "Planning for the Chronically Ill" prepared jointly by four national organizations.1 The statement analyzes the ever growing problem of chronic illness and makes recommendations. The problems created by chronic illness are not only medical problems but economic and social welfare problems as well. Each year chronic diseases cause almost a million deaths and the loss of almost a billion days of productive work. The average life span is much longer today than a few generations ago; as the average continues to increase, the number of persons chronically ill likewise will increase. In the year 1900 1 person in 25 was 65 years of age or older; it is estimated that by 1980 the ratio will be 1 in 10. Chronic diseases, however, kill young persons as well as the old. Perrott states that

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