Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]
myeloma, though the number of deaths from each of the five causes is so small as to make
for considerable random fluctuation from year-to-year. The increase in ' other sites'
for females is such a mixture of residuals from the other main sites that it is impossible
to be specific about the cause of increase.
Returning to the main issue, the increase in mortality from cancer of the lung was
dealt with extensively in Appendix A to my report for the year 1954. In order to link
with the data then produced the following table shows the male and female deaths and
death rates for ages 25-44, 45-64 and 65+ years for the ten years 1949-59. Deaths below
age 25 years have been excluded because they are very rare.
Table (viii)—Deaths and death rates from cancer of the lung by age and sex, 1949-1958
A true comparison of death rates in the various metropolitan boroughs with that of
London and of England and Wales is given in table (ix), which sets out the Standardised
Mortality Ratios* for males (calculated on the deaths in the years 1950-53 in relation
to the census population), together with the percentage in social classes IV and V, the
percentage of the population born in London and two indices of atmospheric pollution.
Data for males only has been shown because of their greater mortality from this cause
and because one of the factors—social class—is only available in respect of males.
As is well known, London has a mortality ratio above average—over half as
much again as in the country generally—part of which at any rate is to be expected
because of the urbanisation gradient demonstrated by Stocks.†
* Standardised Mortality Ratios express the actual number of deaths at all ages in each geographical area as a percentage
of the ' expected' number of deaths, i.e., the number that would have occurred in the area if the death rate in each age
group had been the same as that of England and Wales. They are drawn from Table 1A of the Registrar General's
Decennial Supplement—Area Mortality, 1951, H.M.S.O. 1958.
t Stocks, P., Regional and Local Differences in Cancer Death Rates—Studies on Medical and Population Subjects,
No. 1. General Register Office (1947).