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August 9, 1952

The Cost of Sickness and the Price of Health

Author Affiliations

By C.-E. A. Winslow, Dr.P.H., Consultant in Public Health Administration, World Health Organization, Geneva. World Health Organization Monograph Series, no. 7. Paper. $1.50; 7/6; 6 Sw. francs. Pp. 106. World Health Organization, Palais des nations, Geneva; [Columbia University Press, 2960 Broadway, New York 27], 1951.

JAMA. 1952;149(15):1427-1428. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930320067027

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As part of a program for improved world health, Dr. Winslow, professor emeritus of public health at Yale University, has prepared this monograph as a basis for discussions on the economic value of preventive medicine. His thesis is that mankind suffers from many grave preventable diseases that not only involve human suffering but also impose a heavy burden on the economic resources of the regions involved. Cited studies indicate that "prevention is not only better than cure, it is also cheaper than cure." A recent study by the United States Committee on the Costs of Medical Care covering 9,000 families over a one year period showed that seven days a year were lost on account of illness, exclusive of institutional cases. It has recently been reported that in 1949 the United States had a total national income of $217,000,000,000 of which $10,600,000,000 (5%) was spent on medical and institutional care

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