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

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Barking 1953

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Barking]

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Causes of Death in 1953 Total
Tuberculosis and other Infectious Diseases.. 19
Cancer and other Malignant Diseases 141
Diseases of the Brain and Nervous System 67
Diseases of the Heart and Circulatory System 216
Pneumonia, Bronchitis and other respiratory diseases
(excluding T.B.) 92
Diseases of the Stomach and Digestive System 10
Accidents, Poisonings and Violence 23
Infant Deaths and Congenital Malformations 32
Other causes 45
Total 645
Crude Death Rate per 1,000 Estimated Population 8.40.
Adjusted Death Rate (Comparability Factor 134)= 11.17.
It will be seen from the above table and from Figure 4 that diseases
of the heart accounted for about one-third of all deaths in Barking
during 1953. Cancer and diseases of the brain between them were
responsible for another third, whilst to the remainder only certain
chest diseases made a substantial contribution.
These bare figures and percentages hide much of interest, however.
Deaths caused through heart failure, for example, mainly occur
in more elderly persons who have enjoyed their full pan of life
Numerically smaller deaths from such conditions as tuberculosis and
by accident represent a proportionately greater wastage of life, since
those who succomb to them are often cut off in the prime of life when
they have family responsibilities and are making their maximum
contribution to society.
I have, therefore, thought it of interest to examine the loss of
expected life due to the main causes of death, and for this purpose I
have taken the biblical three score years and ten as an arbitrary expectation
of life for both men and women. For example, a man aged
68 dies from heart failure, so two years are marked up against "heart
disease." If a young woman of 30 dies from tuberculosis then
years are put against "T.B. and other infectious diseases,'' whilst an
infant death contributes 70 to "infant deaths and congenital malformations."
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