Vital Statistics

1952 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
for the year 1950, presents national statistics in categories that differ in many respects from those in previous reports. Indeed, these reports are a record nearly as much of changing ideas as of changing facts, which enhances the difficulties of anyone who wants to compare recent with past experience. In particular, causes of death are now classified in greater detail than formerly, the geographical areas whose statistics are tabulated have been changed, statistics relating to conurbations
more » ... to conurbations have been introduced, and different causes of death bave been subjected to regional analysis. Perhaps the additional tabulation required, together with work on the 1951 census, accounts for the tardy appearance of this Teport. A new table shows accidental deaths in such a form that it is possible for the first time to give figures for deaths due to accidents in the home; for example, in 1950 there were 4,614 deaths from accidents in private houses, and about -three-quarters of them were due to falls. The comparison between the death rates for England and Wales and those for Scotland for certain diseases shows that hypertensive disease was registered twice as often as a cause of death in England and Wales as in Scotland-445 per million compared with 203. Deaths from rheumatic fever also showed a higher rate in England and Wales-I 3 per million compared with 10 in Scotland. But deaths attributed -to heart diseases showed a higher rate in Scotland-4,098 per -million compared with 3,440 in England and Wales. Tuber--culosis death rates remain higher in Scotland-488 per million for respiratory forms against 319 in England and Wales, and 65 per million for other forms against 43. Deaths from diabetes mellitus also showed a higher incidence in 'Scotland-I 18 per million compared with 83 in England and Wales. Among the less usual causes of death in England and Wales 8 were attributed to gas gangrene, 10 to scurvy, 18 to gout, 34 to haemorrhoids, 7 to nasal polyp, and 13 to lightning. Deaths from malignant neoplasms numbered 85,270 (43,570 males, 41,700 females). The total is 2,066 more than in 1949. Infectious Diseases Infectious diseases were more prevalent in England and Wales during the week ending November 29 than in the preceding week. The largest rises in the number of notifications were measles 2,661, from 12,130 to 14,791; whooping-Cough 284, from 1,854 to 2,138; scarlet fever 83, from 2,226 to 2,309; and acute pneumonia 100, from 519 to 619. The largest increases in the incidence of measles were 431 in London, from 1,129 to 1,560; 350 in Yorkshire West Riding, from 832 to 1,182; 283 in Essex, from 1,060 to 1,343; 237 in Lancashire, from 1,057 to 1,294; and 204 in Southampton county, from 243 to 447. The largest excep--tion to the general increase in measles was a fall of 126 in Suffolk, from 386 to 260. The largest rise in whoopingcough was 40 in London, from 108 to 148. Only small variations occurred in the local trends of scarlet fever. The incidence of diphtheria was halved, the number of notificalions falling from 41 to 20. The largest fluctuations in the local returns of diphtheria were decreases in Lancashire from 12 to 5 and in Worcestershire from 5 to 0. During the week 77 cases of acute poliomyelitis were -notified; the paralytic cases were 6 fewer and the nonparalytic cases were the same as in the preceding week. The largest retums were Essex 12 (Southend-on-Sea C.B.
doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4798.1366 fatcat:whd7g243pjazfo6vp23pioicna