Medicine: Watch Your Step

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. changed in 1946. The Public Health Service reported last week that the combination killers, pneumonia-influenza, dropped from the list for the first time. They were replaced by accidents (not including motor accidents), i.e., falls at home, injuries in factories, etc. The top four killers remained the same: heart disease, cancer, strokes (cerebral hemorrhages), nephritis. Reasons for the 8.9% drop in deaths from pneumonia-influenza: no severe epidemic, effective work by penicillin and the sulfa drugs against pneumonia and secondary infections.

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