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May 4, 1940

A SURVEY OF PRENATAL SYPHILIS IN A HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN

JAMA. 1940;114(18):1731-1733. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810180007002
Abstract

The exact incidence of prenatal syphilis is difficult to determine. It varies according to country, population and race. Actual prevalence would have to take into consideration the incidence of abortions, stillbirths and preceding postnatal deaths due to syphilis. The results of Jeans and Cooke's1 study are most frequently quoted as to the incidence of congenital syphilis in the United States. They estimated that 2.89 per cent of the babies born in St. Louis had prenatal syphilis. Negroes composed 9 per cent of their patients but furnished half the cases of congenital syphilis in infancy. Cole2 thinks that in some sections of the United States where the Negro population is great the incidence of prenatal syphilis may be as high as from 15 to 20 per cent.

Prior to 1938 routine serodiagnostic tests were made only on all patients in the wards of the Children's Memorial Hospital. In the

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