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December 21, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(25):1683. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470510039007

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It is said, on the authority of the registrar-general for Ireland, that 20 per cent. of the population of that island die of old age, and it would appear that that is not very rapidly fatal as there were living there in 1900, 212 men and women over 100 years of age. If these are facts it may be a question whether in some points of view they are so much a matter for unmixed satisfaction as might at first appear. Considering life as a blessing in itself, and most normal individuals hold this opinion practically if not theoretically, the showing is eminently satisfactory. Nevertheless a high percentage of deaths from old age must necessarily imply a much larger proportion than one-fifth living past the period of active usefulness, and this by so much lessens proportionately the active and productive part of the population. Taking account of the emigration, of

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