The most recent communications on the mortality of syphilis are those of Schamberg1 (a review of the literature to 1944), Heller and Bruyere,2 Smith and Bruyere3 and Rosahn.4 These papers pave the way for a revision of policy regarding the insurability of syphilitic persons. It is the purpose of this paper to present such a policy.
The usual actuarial approach has been to compare the mortality rate in a group of known syphilitic patients (relatively small in number) with that in the population as a whole or in a select group of supposedly healthy persons. The data so obtained indicate that syphilis imposes an extra mortality hazard ranging from 138 to 188 per cent of expected mortality.5
All such studies to date are to an undeterminable extent inaccurate; and they are entirely inadequate to permit formation of a sound policy determining the insurability of syphilitic
MOORE JE, SCHAMBERG IL. THE ELIGIBILITY OF SYPHILITIC PERSONS FOR LIFE INSURANCE. JAMA. 1947;134(18):1532–1535. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880350016006
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