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January 19, 1994

Where Do Obituary Listings Come From? Putting the Matter to Rest

Author Affiliations

Chandler, Ariz

JAMA. 1994;271(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510270040030

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To the Editor.  —When I first began reading JAMA as an American Medical Association (AMA) member in the early 1960s, I always scanned the obituaries. I rarely saw a familiar name, but I was intrigued by the ages and causes of death. I can think of several reasons why the cause of death is no longer listed for the individual. It would be educational to us all to have a separate, periodic listing of cause of death by age, sex, type of practice, location, and avocation. At what age do we get our coronaries? How many suicides? How much alcoholism? Are we dying of AIDS? Can we control cancer in ourselves? Are women under more stress than men? Are our adventurers dying of accidents? How common is office/hospital violence?

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