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September 7, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(10):826-827. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600360042012

The difficulties both of securing and of interpreting data on infant mortality are illustrated in a recent article on the infant mortality studies made by the Children's Bureau.1 As is well known to those interested in vital statistics, satisfactory birth registration anywhere in the United States is a recent development, and it is still true that birth records in many places are so defective as to be unavailable for exact studies. One of the first objects, therefore, of the investigation made in eight cities by the Children's Bureau has been to secure a record of all infants born within the year in the community selected for study. Even without a systematic canvass it was found possible by the use of neighborhood inquiry and baptismal records to add greatly to the number registered. In Saginaw, Mich., for example, more than 13 per cent. (149) were added by this method to