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Was what ail’d ya what kill’d ya?

Author

Listed:
  • Fogel, Robert W.
  • Cain, Louis
  • Burton, Joseph
  • Bettenhausen, Brian

Abstract

Making use of those Union Army veterans for whom death certificates are available, we compare the conditions with which they were diagnosed by Civil War pension surgeons to the causes of death on the certificates. We divide the data between those veterans who entered the pension system early because of war injuries and those who entered the pension system after the 1890 reform that made it available to many more veterans. We examine the correlation between specific medical conditions rated by the surgeons and death causes to gauge support for the hypothesis that death is attributable to something specific. We also examine the correlation between the accumulation of rated conditions to the length of time until death to gauge support for the “insult hypothesis.” In general, we find support for both hypotheses. Examining the hazard ratios for dying of a specific condition, there is support for the idea that what ail’d ya’ is what kill’d ya’.

Suggested Citation

  • Fogel, Robert W. & Cain, Louis & Burton, Joseph & Bettenhausen, Brian, 2013. "Was what ail’d ya what kill’d ya?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 269-280.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:269-280
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2012.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chronic disease; Hazard ratios; Insult hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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