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December 19, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(25):1543-1544. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490440033006

We are all familiar with the fact first pointed out by The Journal nearly four years ago (April 14, 1900), that the deaths from acute non-tuberculous pulmonary affections, especially pneumonia and influenza, have been growing more frequent of late years, if we can depend on the published statistics, while the deaths from tuberculous diseases have been decreasing. This last fact we impute to our improved methods of public hygiene, popular education as to the prevention of tuberculosis, fresh-air sanatoria, etc. The great increase in the mortality from the non-tuberculous diseases we find ourselves unable to explain.

Ascher2 presents some statistical evidence on this question and suggests an interpretation of the evidence. After a warning against the use of statistics by any but experts, he points out certain facts obtained by a careful study of the mortality statistics of Prussia between the years 1875 and 1901, comparing the deaths from

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