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December 29, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(26):2163. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520260033006

In a recent study of what Sir James Paget would have called the "chronometry of life," Mr. Marsh1 has investigated, among other things, the time of day at which death is most likely to occur. For this purpose he analyzed 36,000 records, omitting only deaths from accident or suicide. His results are interesting because they controvert the usual view that death commonly occurs in the early morning when the vital forces are at a low ebb. Marsh's figures seem to show that, on the contrary, most deaths occur between 2 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, i. e., at the time when the vital forces are normally at their highest point. The fewest deaths occur between 7 in the evening and midnight. In women the time of death tends to be a little earlier than in men, and in children a little earlier than in women, this too, following