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May 7, 1949

Health Progress 1936 to 1945: A Supplement to Twenty-Five Years of Health Progress

JAMA. 1949;140(1):131. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900360133027

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Excluding deaths from enemy action, the standardized death rate from all causes decreased 26 per cent in the decade 1936-1945 among persons insured by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. at ages 1 to 74. Decline in mortality was experienced by each of the four color-sex groups. Reductions in mortality were observed in every age group, particularly in the younger age groups. Partial elimination of infectious and childhood diseases, which accounted for the sharp decline in mortality at the younger ages, enabled persons to live to an older age and as a result increased the importance of diseases of the aged.

Tuberculosis and pneumonia dropped to sixth and eighth place. Accidents moved up to fifth place as a major cause of death.

Standardized death rates for color, sex and age have declined markedly in communicable diseases of childhood, with a decline of 85 per cent in scarlet fever. For all forms of

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