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

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Hackney 1860

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hackney]

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opportunity of enforcing the necessity of clothing young children warmly
during cold weather; of using long and warm dresses, and not short
scanty ones, which although they look smart, are the cause of many deaths.
Newly-born children should also be most carefully protected; the air of
the room in which they live should not be allowed to cool down too
much at night. Similar precautions should be adopted as regards the
very old, as they are almost equally obnoxious to low temperatures. I
place the mortalities of the quarters ending October 1, December 31.
1859, March 31, 1860, against one-another, by which you will see tha
immense mortality of the young which is induced by extreme heat and
extreme cold, and the care that consequently should be taken of them
at those periods when either one or the other prevails.

I place the mortalities of the quarters ending October 1, December 31. 1859, March 31, 1860, against one-another, by which you will see the immense mortality of the young which is induced by extreme heat and extreme cold, and the care that consequently should be taken of them at those periods when either one or the other prevails.

Under 1 year.Between 1 & 20Between 20 & 40.Between 40 &60.Between 60 & 80.Above 80 & 90.
3rd quar., 1859.1218883548228
4 „ „ do.6312854648428
1 „ „ 1860.100110616710736
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It will be seen from the above that extreme heat is more prejudicial
to infants than extreme cold, but that both are highly prejudicial, whilst
to those who are above 60 years of age, extreme heat does not produce
an increased death rate, whilst extreme cold is very fatal
The total deaths in the District reached the unusual number of 490, of
which 41 occurred in the German Hospital and East London Union,
so that 449 deaths were those of the inhabitants. Of the 490 deaths,
231 were of males and 259 of females There were 673 births against
490 deaths, or at the rate of 137 births to each 100 deaths.
The mortalities at the different ages were as follows: 109 deaths of
children under 1 year old; 110 of persons between 1 year and 20 years;
61 between 20 and 40; 67 between 40 and 60; and no less than 36
above 80 years. The number of deaths amongst the old was very great,
but they were not caused by any particular malady, but rather to have
been induced by a general inability to resist disease and other prostrating
causes, for the deaths were chiefly produced by paralysis,
diseased heart, bronchitis, and suicide.
The various diseases included under the zymotic class were not more
fatal than usual, having been only 79 against 78 in the corresponding
quarter of 1859, and 74 of 1858, although the total mortality was much
smaller in each of these quarters. This is very satisfactory, as it is
chiefly in the zymotic class of disease that sanitary measures are most
effectual. The deaths from diseases of the lungs have been very large


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