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December 2, 1950


JAMA. 1950;144(14):1183. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920140043012

Dr. Dietrich, in a contribution to this issue of The Journal (page 1175), calls attention to the brilliant accomplishments in the last half-century in the fields of public health and preventive medicine with resulting dramatic reduction in the mortality and morbidity of most infectious diseases and to the contrasting essentially unchanged death rate from accidents. The situation reflects lack of information on the part of the laity and some apathy on the part of the medical profession. The lack of interest in the subject is the result not so much of inadequate information as of insufficient emphasis. The Journal has recently devoted two current comments on the subject. One of these1 cited figures from the National Office of Vital Statistics: of 32,960 deaths from all causes in 1946 among persons 5 to 19 years old, 37 per cent (12,342) were caused by accidents, as compared with 35 per cent

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