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May 27, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XX(21):594. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420480022013

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The Medical Press and Circular, March 29, has compiled some striking data concerning the progress of suicide in France. That journal makes a statement from statistics that have been compiled in France; it would seem that suicides in that country bear an important relation to the amount of alcohol consumed. From 1836 to 1840 the consumption of alcohol was upwards of 500,000 hectolitres, and during that period 137 persons committed suicide as the result of alcoholism, and from the same cause there were 226 accidental deaths. From 1880 to 1885, when the consumption of alcohol rose to 1,800,000 hectolitres, there were 868 suicides and 537 accidental deaths, for which alcoholism was responsible —a very notable increase.

The wide gap in the dates chosen for comparison has been necessary for more than one reason, but one important reason was that it seemed best to omit the period of the Franco-Prussian conflict,

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