of the vital machinery, are heavily on the increase in this country. There is no evidence, however, that these diseases are on the increase in Great Britain. Nor is there in Great Britain, as in this country, any evidence of a rising mortality among those in middle life and later who are chiefly affected by these degenerative maladies. The same may be said of Germany, where the death rate at every age period has steadily fallen during the past thirty years, notwithstanding a tremendous industrial progress.
This masking of the encroachment of the degenerative and regressive class of diseases by the fall in the death rate from the communicable diseases is a source of danger, in that it begets a feeling of false confidence and inhibits much-needed activity for the real up-building of a resistant race rather than mere protection of the non-resistant from one class of maladies.
The present state of American vitality and physical efficiency as compared to the best attainable state can only be accurately measured by thorough physical examination of all citizens. The examination of all citizens is at present not practicable, but much can be learned from the results already attained in the examination of representative groups. The figures that I present in this paper are derived from two classes of individuals examined by the Life Extension Institute.
First: Insurance policyholders, to whom the privilege of free medical examination at certain intervals has been extended by the life insurance companies having contracts with the Institute to perform this service.
Second: Employees of commercial houses, banks, trust companies, etc., to whom this privilege has been extended by their employers who contracted with the Institute for this service.
|Imperfect—Advice needed regarding physical condition or living habits||97.60|
|Not aware of impairment||93.04|
|Referred to physician for treatment||65.75|
Classification of Impairments
Moderate to Serious
|Organic heart disease||4.50|
|High or low blood-pressure||23.50|
|Urinary—albumin, sugar, casts||53.60|
|Individuals showing combined disturbance of circulation and kidneys||15.83|