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[Registries in Bjurakers yearbook 1911-1930].

  • Brodin, Harald
Published Article
Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2006
PMID: 17575644


For the years 1911 - 1930 causes of death were registered in the parish of Bjuråker in a farming and forestry district in central Sweden as well as in two of its villages, one with a forge and another with ironworks, Strömbacka and Moviken. The average life span and infant mortality were also noted. The two villages had 600 and the rest of the parish 3400 inhabitants. The continuous industrial production required three daily eight-hours shifts and there were small or non-existent sanitary facilities. Breaks for meals were not timetabled, but you could find pauses for consumption of what you might bring from home. Daily life was characterized by poverty and many children, but there was no real starvation. As a rule the families rented a place with one room and kitchen, and they often could keep one cow. About half the earned money was used up on food. The average life span showed figures found for Sweden about thirty years earlier. Diagnoses were stated for 1146 of 1309 deceased in the parish 1911 - 1930. The remainder indudes "not known" and, for infants, "weakness". The district medical officer lived at a distance of 15 - 20 km from the villages. A general hospital 60 km away and a sanatorium 120 km away signify that diagnoses of at least tuberculosis and tumours are reliable. Not unexpectedly, tuberculosis was the most frequent cause of death (16%), a little more than in Sweden (12%) and still more than in the rest of the parish (10%). Women were more often affected than men which was also found earlier. Cancer was more frequent than in the rest of the parish and in Sweden. Like tuberculosis, there was a predominance for women. The high infant mortality differs from the findings of an other author, who found relatively low infant mortality in industrial communities. Life was hard in two small industrial villages in the province in 1911 - 1930.

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