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

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St James's 1860

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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and third quarters of the year for infants, that they
have been but 169 for the autumn or fourth quarter.
We may find an explanation of this in the fact that
the most fatal diseases of childhood—hooping cough
and diarrhoea—prevail in the winter, spring, and
summer quarters. If we take the death of the
whole population for the last five years, we find
that the healthiest quarters are the winter and the
summer, whilst the spring and the autumn are the
most fatal to adults.
From the ages at which our population die, and
the seasons which are most fatal, we may ascertain
from the Tables the particular causes of death, or
the diseases which produce death. The group of
zymotic diseases are those which are more particularly
interesting from a sanitary point of view, as they are
more obviously under human control. At the same
time I would reiterate what I have before said on
this point, that all diseases which carry men off
before they have attained mature old age, are the
result of ignorance of the laws of health on the part
of those who suffer, and might be prevented, were
persons to live in accordance with the known laws
of their physical existence. Diseases of the lungs,
the heart, and the brain, could as easily be prevented,
if people knew their causes and acted on their
knowledge, as typhus plague, cholera, small pox, or
any other preventible disease. As, however, the
causes of zymotic diseases are more tangible and
more easily dealt with than those of other diseases,


First Quarter.Second Quarter.Third Quarter.Fourth Quarter.Total.
Under 1 year50527350225
„ 5 „31283223114
„ 20 „1654833
„ 40 „1717242886
„ 60 „37231041117
,, 80 „30313039130
Under 1 year45554435179
„ 5 „24371626103
„ 20 „457319
,, 40 ,,2818212390
„ 60 ,,54201737134
„ 80 „38292834129
Under 1 year79603734210
„ 5 „27374633143
„ 20 ,,61615946
„ 40 ,,2026153798
„ 60 „21453650152
„ 80 „25211341100
Under 1 year36465750183
„ 5 „30312539125
„ 20 „91291141
„ 40 „2427231993
„ 60 „40443038152
„ 80 „21412119102