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

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Walthamstow 1910

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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During the year 283 deaths occurred in children under one year of
age, compared to 281 in 1909; 351 in 1908; 380 in 1907; 466 in
1906; 354 in 1905; 496 in 1904; 401 in 1903; 394 in 1902 and 481
in 1901.
The infantile mortality rate for each year since 1891 is given on the
preceding page.
This rate is one of great interest and importance, since it is independent
of correct or incorrect estimated population, being based on the
deaths in children under one year of age as compared with the total
If the total births and deaths are known the rate is not liable to error,
but owing to faulty death returns the rate of 88.5 given is less than the
actual rate, 95, ascertained from the figures of the four quarterly returns
of the Registrar-General.
The reason for giving the lesser rate is to make the figure comparable
with preceding years, whose rates were ascertained from the returns
actually received.
It will be noticed that on page 22, by grouping the birth and
infantile mortality rates into five-yearly periods, the average death-rate
has fallen from 150 4 in 1895-1900, to 104.6 in 1905-1910, although the
average number of births in the same period had increased from 2,299
to 3,493.
The improvement in the latter period shows a yearly saving of 160
infant lives, and the improvement recorded in 1910 on the previous five
years, shows a saving of 50 for the total born.
The recorded rate of 95 per 1,000 children born for 1910, is a favourable
one, and taken in association with that of 104.6 for the previous
five years would bring the district within the category of the RegistrarGeneral
of "Towns with low rates of Infantile Mortality," and without
further analysis it would seem that our work in this respect has been
very satisfactory.
But that there is much scope for betterment will be seen by splitting
up the district into its constituent parts.

The following table shows the Infantile Mortality and other associated data for the various Wards.

Whole District.St. James Street.High Street.Hoe Street.Wood Street.Northern
Infantile Mortality Rate88.5126.083.265 080.082.5
Deaths under 1 year of age2838347343386