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Posted: 1383832429000
Classification: Query

From the Glasgow (KY) Republican, Thursday, 4 December 1913:

Vital Statistics. We copy the following extracts from a report of the State Board of Health.

"The birth and death returns from Kentucky for the year 1912 are much more satisfactory in number and quality than 1911, the first year of the operation of this law. The causes of death are more accurately stated and the personal and statistical particulars are given in greater detail; for this reason the certificates of both births and deaths have a greater value as a family record and enable the State Board of Health to locate more accurately epidemics of dangerous, communicable diseases and furnish a better index for the health policy of the Board.

BIRTHS: The total number of births reported in 1911 in Kentucky was 60,732. The total number reported for 1912 was 62,184; an increase of 1,452 over the preceding year. Based upon each 100,000 population the rate for 1911 was 26.32; and for 1912 the rate was 26.78.

DEATHS: Exclusive of stillbirths, which are never counted in the figures given out by this bureau either in births or deaths, there were 29,955 deaths in the State in 1912. Of these 5,162 were of infants under one year of age; 2,344 were of children aged one to four years; and 7,346 were of persons aged sixty-five years and over. This gives a death rate of 12.9 per thousand people. There is a decrease in all of the rates of preventable diseases except diptheria, pneumonia, meningitis, influenza, diarrhea and enteritis (2 years and over); a decrease of 529 in the number of deaths reported from tuberculosis; a decrease of 296 in the number of deaths from typhoid fever.

TUBERCULOSIS: There were 4,773 deaths from tuberculosis (all forms) in the state in 1912. That is, tuberculosis was responsible for 15.9 per cent of all the deaths reported, or in other words, about one funeral out of every six deaths was due to this disease. The decrease in the number of deaths from this disease since the report for 1911 is too marked for one to say that it is the result of efforts to control the disease. Such results in health work are too sudden and reports of eight months for 1913 indicate that the total number will exceed the 1912 rates.

It is estimated that there are 19,494 persons in Kentucky who are suffering with this disease, in the active stage, most of whom have not the remotest idea of its dangerous nature and do not exercise the simplest methods to protect members of their own families or the community in which they live. As long as this kind of ignorance prevails it cannot be hoped that the death rate from this scourge will be materially reduced.

PREVENTABLE DISEASES. Of the 29,955 deaths reported it is a significant fact that 11,841 were caused by preventable diseases or, in other words, of every one hundred funerals that we held in the state during the year, 39.5 were caused by diseases that are practically preventable. Omitting the physical and mental suffering of those afflicted it is computed by careful estimates that the loss to Kentucky each year from this source is approximately twenty-eight and a half million dollars or over four times the amount of the entire revenue of Kentucky, or, is several million dollars more than is spent by Kentuckians to maintain all the government of the counties, all the churches expend and all the money that is spent for public and private schools. Kentucky appropriates $30,000 to maintain the department of health, or in other words, Kentucky spends one dollar in the effort to save $940 which are lost by diseases which are practically preventable."

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