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

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London County Council 1934

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

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London.—Contrast of death-rates per1,000living at selected age periods in the years1911-1913 and 1930-1932.

Age period.Males.Females.
1911-1913.1930-1932.Decrease per cent.1911-1913.1930-1932.Decrease per cent.
0-5 years43.022.94736.318.449
65 years and over89.683.5776.563.018
All ages15.913.31613.111.016

The figures bear the impress, in varying degrees, of many administrative measures
initiated or further developed during the period to which they refer, such as, in infancy,
the infant and child welfare work, the hospitalisation of infantile whoopingcough
and measles cases, milk and dairy farm inspection and the post-war control
and organisation of the milk supply generally; at school ages, the expansion of the
school medical service, provision of treatment centres, open-air schools, etc.; at
higher ages, national health insurance and co-ordinated provision for the treatment
of tuberculosis; and for the aged, old-age pensions, with the resulting diminution
of institutional life among this class.
The small reduction in mortality at ages 15-25, especially among women, shows
that the young adults of to-day are not participating in the general improvement
to the extent which has taken place in the other age-groups.
The position of London in respect of child mortality is worthy of further
The following figures show the reduction which has taken place in mortality
among children at various ages under fifteen during the present century :—

London.—Death-rates per1,000living among children tinder15years of age

0-1 years179.3126.187.667.4
1-2 „
2-5 „14.810.310.65.0
5-10 „
10-15 „

For the purpose of comparison similar figures for England and Wales are shown in the following table, from which it will be seen that the mortality rates for London at the beginning of the century were, at all the ages shown, in excess of those for England and Wales, but that except at the age 1-2 a great deal of the leeway had been made up in 1930-1932:—

Age.London.England and Wales.London, England and Wales = 100.
1900-1902.1930-1932.Decrease per cent.1900-1902.1930-1932.Decrease per cent.1900-1902.1930-1932.
0-1 years179.367.462.4170.966.960.9105101
1-2 „56.017.568.747.514.669.3118120
2-5 „
5-10 „
10-15 „2.41.440.32.31.537.210196

The reduction of the death-rate among children of school age from about 2 per
cent, above that of England and Wales in 1900-1902 to about 4 per cent, below it in
1930-1932 is especially noteworthy.