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July 23, 1938

Current Comment

JAMA. 1938;111(4):326-328. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790300036013

THE ALLEGED INCREASE IN INSANITY  The rapid increase of patients in mental hospitals throughout the United States has often been used as an instrument to forward certain social, economic, eugenic and medical objectives. The crude figures alone have usually been cited; hence a recent brief but careful analysis of the situation by Jacob1 is important He presents the increase in resident patients in the state hospitals of Georgia, Illinois, Alabama and the United States as a whole for the decade 1923-1932 in terms of gross numbers, standard rates (the number of patients per hundred thousand of general population) and an index based on the standard rates with 1923 as the base year. In each of the areas studied, the number of hospitalized insane patients increased steadily from 1923 to 1932. There was an increase in the numbers and standard rates of first admissions in Illinois and the United States