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

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Islington 1861

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Islington, Parish of St Mary]

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were from zymotic diseases, and ten under five years of age, and 17 in Mildmay-street,
of which ten were from zymotic diseases, and twelve under five years of age.
7. In estimating the incapacitating sickness among working adults in any of
these districts, we should only be introducing a trifling error, were we to calculate it
on the mortality over five years of age; but we will allow for it by deducting oneninth
for the deaths between five and fifteen years. From the record I keep, the
method will be to deduct from the total mortality of a district the deaths under five
years of age, and again one-ninth of the remainder, the number thus obtained,
multiplied by three, will represent the incapacitating sickness found, on the average
at any time during the year among its adult population.
The districts will fall into a table, thus :—


Calculated number of Adults incapacitated by Illness on the average at any time during the Tjar in the Sanitary Districts and Groups of Districts.

District.No. of Adults constantly Sick.Proportion of Families i to one sick Adult.District.No. of Adults con-stantly Sick.Proportion of Families to one sick Adult.District.No. of Adults constantly Sick.Proportion ofFamilies to one sick Adult.
Rydon96.4Highbury Vale355.7Balls Pond1255.6
Duncan246.6Theberton1766.9Battle Bridge678.1
Barnsbury2487.4Park Street807.2Lower Road.2569.8
Canonbury2488.3Church858.0City Road6711.2
Highbury-hill468.4St. Peter's1818.3Canal21111.3
Shepherdess1529.5Lr. Hollowav.2518.4Irish Courts1911.3
Hornsey Rise.299.7Highgate Hill759.0Queen's Road4018.4
Market7210.6St. Thomas1099.2Wht, Conduit3319.3
Mildmay4611.0Trinity1609.7Belle Isle1627.9
Hornsey Road4012 3Kingsland11510.2
Whole Group10928.4Whole Group16168.7Whole Group110910.6
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The groups are formed in accordance with the social character of the districts, as
represented upon the map. The first group embraces the districts of which the
numbers are not underlined in the map. The second group those with a more
mixed population, singly underlined on the map ; and the third group those with a
population mostly more or less poor, doubly underlined on the map. The smaller
the proportion of families to one sick adult, the greater the amount of adult sickness
in the families resident in the district. But I must, once for all, caution you not to
conclude, from a table thus constructed, that the districts at the head of each list are
therefore the most unhealthy. To do this would be a most grievous abuse of
statistics. Such a conclusion might be reduced to an absurdity, since it would go
to assert that comfortable circumstances, large airy houses, intelligence, education,
and sanitary carefulness, are conducive to disease, while the reverse of all these is
especially favourable to health. It is to be recollected that we are only dealing with
the sickness among adults, and it requires no elaborate statistical enumeration to
assure us of the notorious fact that, in the districts of the first group, districts
occupied by the most well-to-do, the proportion of adult persons in a family,

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