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June 24, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVI(26):2072. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02580520028012

An unusual incidence of certain diseases has frequently been attributed in the past to an increased susceptibility or relative immunity, as the case might be, of certain races to the abnormal condition under consideration. As instances, the alleged relative susceptibility of Melanesians to measles, of negroes to tuberculosis, of Malaysians and other oriental races to beriberi, and of those of European descent to yellow fever may be cited. Some of these supposed correlations have been shown to be due to the inadequacy of statistics or the imperfections and shortcomings of diagnosis obtaining among the less civilized races in the past. In other instances the supposed racial peculiarities of disease have been connected with the peculiar dietary habits of certain peoples or some peculiarly enhanced possibility of infection due to modes of living or geographic conditions. In other words, the apparent interrelation between frequency of disease and races of people has

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