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May 9, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(19):1479. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560440035015

Without doubt, it is a difficult and complicated matter to obtain precise numerical data concerning the influence of housing on health. So many factors come into play in the assembling of vital statistics that a comparison of different localities may give very confusing or even misleading results. Rarely if ever is it possible to separate a city population into groups in which the character of the housing is the only factor affecting morbidity or mortality. A recent editorial in the American Journal of Public Health1 calls attention to the importance of race in influencing the rate of mortality in various city districts, and proclaims the need of caution "in arguing the effect of crowded houses." This is perhaps well enough. The writer of the editorial goes so much further than this, however, that it seems worth while to note the methods by which he reaches his conclusions. Throughout the

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