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May 27, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(21):1690-1691. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740210038014

In his essay on the Prolongation of Life, Metchnikoff wrote, many years ago: "If hygiene was able to prolong life when it was little developed, as was the case until recently, we may well believe that, with our greater knowledge of today, a much better result will be obtained." This expectation has in part been realized; indeed, it has been said that to hygiene belongs without doubt the place of honor in modern medicine. Public hygiene, or preventive medicine, as it is more frequently designated, represents a sort of offensive warfare against the noxious agents of our environment. Governmental activities protect mankind in the mass at every turn. They are concerned with pure air, pure water, pure food and the menace of epidemic disease. It may be doubted, however, whether personal hygiene, the defensive branch of public health service, has made equally notable progress. Do men exercise adequately the powers

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