Abstract

Outmoded terminology, inconsistent usage of terms, and lack of specificity are routinely encountered in death records, making integration of past causes of death difficult. This article summarizes problems encountered during large-scale analysis of nineteenth-century causes of morbidity and mortality. Tuberculosis is likely the most problematic cause of death that is routinely encountered; the different manifestations of this disease, depending on which part of the body it infects, mean that it can have quite diverse pathologies, each accorded a separate term. Following this terminology, changes in tuberculosis among soldiers in the British army from 1830 to 1913 are investigated. Morbidity shows a large contribution by scrofula to the total tubercular diseases from 1830 to 1870. Phthisis, the pulmonary form of tuberculosis, dominates mortality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 341-356
Launched on MUSE
2009-08-26
Open Access
No
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