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

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Hornsey 1924

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hornsey, Borough of]

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established long enough for their value to be well-known to all
the mothers in the Borough, I anticipate a further decrease in
our infant death-rate.
Causes of Death.—A tabulated statement showing the principal
causes of death is given in the Appendix (Table B). It is
desirable, however, to make a few comments on it here.
There were no deaths from Small-pox or Enteric (Typhoid)
There was only one death from Scarlet Fever. This
disease as a cause of mortality is negligible to-day, and of a very
different nature to the Scarlet Fever of twenty-five years ago.
There were two deaths from Diphtheria. Delay in the
adequate treatment of any disease diminishes the patient's
chance of recovery, but in no disease is delay more deadly than
in Diphtheria.
Diphtheria Anti-toxin is supplied by the Town Council, and
for the convenience of doctors it is kept at the Town Hall, the
Isolation Hospital, the School Clinic and at the two Maternity
Measles caused 2 deaths.
Whooping Cough caused 2 deaths.
Summer Diarrhoea caused the death of only 1 infant during
the year. This disease is fly-borne, and, in the absence of flies,
the summer diarrhoea is non-existent. The cold and wet summer
of 1924 was prejudicial to the breeding of flies, and in addition
the Public Health Department supervised, as in former years,
the places where flies are likely to breed, such as manure heaps
and stables.
Cancer or Malignant Diseases caused the death of 150 persons.
This disease is definitely on the increase, as reference
to Table C and the accompanying chart (Table D) in the
Appendix will show. In the chart the percentage variations from
the average of cancer death-rates in Hornsey is plotted over a
series of years, and it is evident when comparing the cancer
death-rates from, say, 1902-1907, with those of 1921 and onwards
that the mortality-rate from this disease has increased.
In part, no doubt, this increase is due to the fact that in
this Borough we have an excess of persons living at the "cancer
age," for this disease is one of middle-aged and elderly people