oa South African Medical Journal - The Cape coloured people* : their pattern of health and disease

Volume 23, Issue 50
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



*This paper was read at the Medical Congress of the Association held at Cape Town in September 1949. The pattern of health and disease in the Cape Coloured people of the Cape Town Municipal area has been discussed under five headings: 1. Life expectation, as revealed by the tables of the principal life insurance companies. 2. Mortality and population changes, as revealed by the Reports of the Medical Officer of Health for Cape Town. 3. Morbidity. 4. Physique and physical efficiency. 5. Socio-economic position, as revealed by the reports of the Cape Town Social Survey. From the figures presented, the conclusions are drawn: 1. That the overall morbidity and mortality of the Cape Coloured people is considerably greater than that of European residents in the Cape Peninsula. 2. That life expectation is considerably less at all ages, with the greatest discrepancy in infancy. 3. That the high morbidity and mortality are due particularly to the ' social diseases '. 4. There is no evidence that differences in the genotype play any important part in determining the observed differences in morbidity and mortality. 5. It follows that the differences could probably be abolished or greatly reduced by improving the social, economic and educational status of the Cape Coloured people.

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