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

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London County Council 1931

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Clinics with all-day medical and intermediate treatment have been provided at
St. Thomas's hospital; St. Paul's hospital; Guy's hospital; West London hospital;
the London County Council (Whitechapel) clinic (see page 24) and the Royal
Free hospital (women).
The number of new cases of venereal disease dealt with under the scheme during
1931 was 14,841, of which 4,530 were syphilis, 9,973 gonorrhoea, and 338 soft
chancre. Comparing these figures with those of the previous year, it will be
observed that the total number of new cases dealt with is 1,866 fewer than in 1930.
Year. Syphilis. Gonorrhœa. Soft chancre. Non-venereal. Total.
1930 5,225 11,123 359 10,162 26,869
1931 4,530 9,973 338 11,106 25,947
Increase +
or decrease —
-695 -1,150 -21 +944 -922
The decrease in the number of new cases of venereal disease is partly accounted
for by reason of the fact that, for the year 1931, the returns required from the treatment
centres were designed to afford information as to the number of cases with new
infections which come under treatment annually. In consequence, only those cases
dealt with for the first time during the year which were not known to have received
treatment previously for the same infection at any clinic, are included as new cases.
To be comparable with previous years, the figures for 1931 would read as follows:
Syphilis, 5,179; Gonorrhœa, 10,622; Soft chancre, 359, a net decrease of 547.

The distribution of new cases of venereal disease between the sexes is shown in the following table, the figures for the preceding years being given for comparison:—

Year.New cases.Total Venereal cases.
Syphilis.Soft chancre.Gonorrhoea.
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With regard to the new cases of venereal disease, an attempt was made to
ascertain whether the infection was recently acquired in patients attending
the clinics for the first time during the year 1931, and also as to the
number of cases of congenital syphilis. The returns received from the treatment
centres showed that, as regards syphilis, in approximately 56 per cent. of the new
patients the disease was in either a primary or secondary stage and, in the
case of gonorrhoea, in 88 per cent., the infection had taken place within
a year. Cases of congenital syphilis not known to have received previous
treatment, numbered 543. The age and sex distribution were as follows:—

Congenital Syphilis—New Patients.

Under 1 year.1 and under 5 years.5 and under 15 years.15 years and over.Totals
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