A study of autopsy statistics, with reference to occurrence of tuberculous lesions at various periods of human life, discloses a vast discrepancy between the great frequency of postmortem evidence of tubercle infection and the rate of mortality attributable to the disease itself.
The figures drawn from postmortem findings vary according to the source of material, age at death, inferpretation of lesions, exclusion of patients dying from tuberculosis, etc.
From Heitler's postmortem records1, giving a percentage of 4.7 of obsolete tubercle in 16.562 cases, up to Nägeli's astounding estimate of 99 per cent., there is a vast number of observers whose figures vary between 30 and 70 per cent.
Autopsies on children dying from various causes show an increase in the frequency of tuberculous lesions with the progress of age, as would be expected from the gradually accumulating opportunities for infection.
Professor Ganghofner (quoted by Bulstrode) presents the following results
SACHS TB. CHILDREN OF THE TUBERCULOUS.. JAMA. 1908;LI(17):1413–1416. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410170029001g