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March 24, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(12):714-724. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610120010001e

Of the seventy-five million people in our land to-day, ten million or more will die of tuberculosis, unless we develop methods for its prevention. The age of those dying from tuberculosis averages from 18 to 40 years. This is the most productive period in the individual life. The best results of education, culture, and labor are then achieved. The climax of one's usefulness in the world is at its zenith. What an appalling fact, then, to appreciate that from 14 to 15 per cent, of all these deaths occur from a disease which is absolutely preventable! Viewed from the standpoint of money loss alone—$5000 being the amount a human life is valued at in Illinois— all the expenses for maintenance of our great government are not to be compared with the financial loss sustained by the nation from tuberculosis. How the people live is one of the most pertinent questions