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To the Editor.—
In Graz, Austria, the second largest city in the country, a law requiring autopsies on all hospital deaths, and only one pathological institute to serve a population of 230,000 make this location unique for studying death patterns. About 75% of the total deaths in the city are autopsied each year. Some illuminating facts have emerged from a personal review of over 70,000 autopsy protocols covering 1930 through 1966.Heart attacks have always been infrequent in Graz. In 1930, there were only 0.8% of the deaths from this cause. At the height of World War II, this fell to 0.3%. This drop was not the result of less atherosclerosis due to changes in the diet, since the coronary vessels showed approximately a fourfold increase in sclerosis in 1944. A marked rise in tuberculosis during the war was responsible for killing adult males with advancing coronary sclerosis before the
Barnes BO. Physical Fitness in Military Personnel. JAMA. 1971;216(6):1036. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180320077022