Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
The Rushden Echo and Argus, 12th July, 1935, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Medical Officer’s Report

Highest Death Rate Since 1921

Large Increase Over Births

“Great Improvement in the Town’s General Health”

  Although Dr. O. A. J. N. Muriset, M.O.H. for Rushden, regards 1934 as a “most remarkable year from the health point of view,” the town being practically free from epidemics, he has to report a death rate of 12.49 – the highest in Rushden since 1921.

  In his annual report, which was presented to the Urban Council on Wednesday, Dr. Muriset states that there were 180 deaths (101 males and 79 females) - 21 more than in 1933.  The local death rate of 12.49 compared with the national rate of 11.8.

  The high rate was in large measure due to an increase in the number of deaths from conditions of the heart.

  Births were fewer than deaths.  Their total was 161 (82 males and 79 females) – seven fewer than in 1933 and giving a rate of 11.17, which was considerably below the national rate of 14.8.

  Rushden’s birth rate, the doctor points out, has dropped from 22.77 in 1920 to 11.17.

  Eight of the births last year were illegitimate, and there were eight still births.  Two women died in consequence of child birth.

“Most Disastrous”

  Deprecating the excess of deaths over births, Dr. Muriset declares: “A continuance of such figures would be most disastrous.”

  The infant mortality rate was 49.68 – much below the national rate of 59.  Six of the eight infant deaths were due to congenital debility, premature birth or malformation, and the facts “indicate that there must be no slackening off of the ante-natal work amongst prospective mothers.”

  Deaths from tuberculosis decreased from 16 to 11, but cancer deaths increased from 20 to 22 and gave the highest figure for cancer yet recorded.

  There was a big jump – from 53 to 81 – in the deaths from diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

  “This extraordinary increase,” says the doctor, “is almost unaccountable, but it may possibly be explained by the marked increase in deaths in the age period of 65 and over, for people over this age are naturally more prone to die of degenerative conditions of the heart muscle.”

  O those who died, 38 were between 45 and 65 years of age, and 104 were 65 and over.

  About the general health of the town Dr. Muriset writes:

Weather Causes Improvement

  “The extraordinarily good Summer and Autumn of 1933 and the added brilliant and sunny weather of 1934 must in a large measure account for the great improvement in the general health of the town as indicated by the absence of any epidemic of influenza or of the minor infectious diseases.  The only condition which caused concern was the prevalence of throat infections which were no doubt, in some measure, due to the dryness of the season.”

  At 38 the number of disease cases notified was the second lowest since 1918.

  There is one rather sad note in the report: “In past years,” says the doctor, “it has been stated in these reports that the water was unlimited in quantity, but it is with regret that one has to state that this is no longer the case.”

  The caretaker of the public swimming bath is congratulated on the efficiency with which the chlorination of the bath water has been carried out with the result that “persons using the swimming bath may do so in the utmost confidence and without the slightest fear of contracting any infection.”

  Mr. F. S. F. Piper, Sanitary Inspector, gives a report which records an increase of inspections from 1,475 to 1,550.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Health & Welfare index
Click here to e-mail us