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September 23, 1961


JAMA. 1961;177(12):859. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040380037008

The epidemiology of leukemia has been discussed in 2 recent publications that contribute to an understanding of the variable factors associated with the increasing incidence of this malady. Stewart and Hewitt in reviewing the deaths from leukemia in England and Wales discovered that this disease accounts for less than 0.5% of the deaths from all causes but that there appears to be an established rate of increase of 4% per annum over the last quarter of a century, even allowing for changes in age distribution of the population. Although improvements in the diagnosis and in medical interest have contributed to a portion of the increase, the upward trend is believed to be genuine. Chronic lymphatic leukemia, a disease of the older age groups, has been increasing more rapidly than the other types, however there also appears to be an increase in acute leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia in younger people.