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

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Clerkenwell 1863

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Clerkenwell, St James & St John]

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be whited at least twice a year; while the houses of the poor are
allowed to remain for years without this important means of

Age has an important influence upon mortality. The subjoined Table shows the number of inhabitants living and the proportion of deaths occurring in Clerkenwell:—

ClerkenwellAt all AgesUnder 55 — 2020—4040—60GO —8080 and warda
Both SexesMales and Females
Population65681(M. 31960)85471963122029116163656202
(F. 33721)
Deaths1509( M. 763 >72812515423822143
( F. 746 J
Per-centage2.29...8*510-630-692-046 0421*2

It will be noticed that the mortality of children under five
years of age is very great. Undoubtedly children at the early
periods of life are more delicate and susceptible of disease than
those of more advanced age and adults; and some allowance must
be made for the circumstance, that many mothers have to work
and cannot devote sufficient time and attention to the proper
management of their children. Yet, the large number of deaths
occurring among them from Zymotic diseases, shows that much of
the mortality might be prevented, if proper care were taken in
attending to the points previously alluded to. And reference to
the Table showing the statistics of the mortality of Rothbury,
will show that age alone is not the cause of the large mortality
among them in this Parish.
The least mortality occurs between 5 and 20 years of age;
probably, because at this period, there is greater approximation
to nature's laws, by the free exercise taken in the open air, and
the least excess committed.
At the period between 20 and 40, the consumptive class of
diseases claims a large number of victims; close confinement in
ill-ventilated rooms and workshops, with want of sufficient
exercise, being at least predisposing causes. Between 40 and CO,
consumptive diseases still retain their sway, pulmonary diseases,
with those of the brain and liver, taking their share; and above
CO, pulmonary disease, with general decay, to which all organic
beings are subject, carry off the remainder of those who have
been spared.