London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Plumstead 1897

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health, 1897

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I have left out the births and the rates calculated from them
in the Reidhaven Road District for the years 1894-96 as these
have been found to be under-estimated.
The births for 1897 are the actual numbers supplied by the
Registrar. I also now obtain from the Registrar the previous
addresses of persons dying in the infirmary. Formerly I only
knew whether they belonged to Plumstead or other districts.
In this way I have learned that a much larger number of
deaths from Phthisis belonging to Reidhaven Road District
occur in the Infirmary than I was aware of. The numbers for
the years 94-96 are thus seen to be under-estimated and I have
omitted them.
70. The result of last year's statistics is to shew in the first
place a much higher birth-rate (45'2) than I had anticipated.
The only sanitary area of the metropolis which has so
high a birth-rate is St. Luke's which has also usually a preeminently
high death-rate.
71. The death-rate of Reidhaven Road District last year
was more than half as high again as in Plumstead.
72. The infantile death-rate, reckoned per 1000 births, was
also more than half as high again as in Plumstead. It must
be remembered that this rate being reckoned on the number of
births, its excessiveness cannot be explained by saying that the
birth-rate is high. On the other hand the very high mortality
amongst infants under 1 year is no doubt one cause of the high
birth-rate; for when a mother loses her baby at the age of
3 months, for instance, lactation ceasing, she will be likely to
bear another child six months sooner than she would have
done if the first child had lived.

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