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May 26, 1951

The Burden of Diseases in the United States.

JAMA. 1951;146(4):414. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670040114049

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This is an extensive analysis of mortality statistics and morbidity surveys in the United States. A large color chart also shows mortality rates by major causes of death in 42 foreign countries. The authors state their purpose as "scrutinizing critically the vast amount of statistical information that now lies frozen and uninterpreted in the articles and publications of census bureaus." The discussion is scholarly and stimulating. On the whole, the objective of the book has been achieved, and the volume will serve as an excellent reference for those interested in the existing data regarding mortality and morbidity from specific diseases. Specialists in each field probably will question some of the points made regarding the disease group of their special interests. However, the authors always manage to present some fresh viewpoint. An example is found on page 9: "We tend to advertise and to back specified diseases as if they were

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