National Geographic : 1939 Dec
Why America is Healthier... AND HOW YOU CAN HELP TO KEEP IT THAT WAY 1909-Thirty years ago-in an average community such as illustrated at the right-tuberculosis was the leading cause of death. Such other diseases as typhoid fever, scarlet fever, diphtheria, whoop ing cough, and measles were also com mon causes of death. The annual toll of fatalities from preventable causes was entirely too high. 1939-During the past three decades, the death rate for tuberculosis, accord ing to latest available figures, has de clined more than 66%; for influenza and pneumonia, 24%; for measles, 87%; for whooping cough, 59%; for diphtheria, 90%; for scarlet fever, 87%. AMERICANS BORN TODAY HAVE, on the aver age, a prospect of living ten years longer than those born a generation ago. More people now live to see their heart disease, cancer, or syphilis completely cured or checked. Progressive American communities have ban ished diphtheria, typhoid fever, smallpox as pub lic hazards-and every community can! Safety education has helped reduce accidents. Why is America so much healthier? Because a tireless, eminently capable body of men and women-medical and public-health workers, and those engaged in safety work-have within one lifetime so brilliantly extended our defenses against disease and causes of death. They have discovered the causes of many dis eases and have produced effective vaccines and serums for their prevention and treatment. They have safeguarded our milk, water, and food sup plies and the very air we breathe. They have helped us establish efficient health departments. How can you help America to maintain its en viable health record? First of all, by guarding your own health having regular medical check-ups and seeing your doctor promptly in the event of sickness. Second, by concerning yourself with the efficiency of your community's health services. And third, by giving your support, whenever you have the chance, to the cause of better local health con ditions. COPYRIGHT1939- METROPOLITANLIFE INSURANCE CO. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (A MUTUAL COMPANY) Frederick H. Ecker, c CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Leroy A. Lincoln, PRESIDENT 1 MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y.