FOR most disease categories, U.S. Government figures showing higher rates of illness and premature death for blacks than whites actually underestimate the true difference, because the ills of the poor are often unreported. But for venereal diseases, the opposite prevails; many white patients go to private physicians, who treat 80% of all VD cases but report only 12% of them, while blacks are treated mainly at public clinics.
(RATES PER 100,000 FOR 1967 WHITE NONWHITE
Tuberculosis cases 15.3 65.1
deaths 2.8 8.4
Syphilis cases 22.9 262.3