Airborne diseases: Tuberculosis in the Union Army
This paper examines the medical histories of a sample of 25,000 Union Army soldiers and veterans to study the determinants of diagnosis, discharge, and mortality from tuberculosis. We find that water and airborne diseases during the war contributed significantly to the presence of tuberculosis. Height and a higher body mass index (BMI) are also associated with protection against TB but these effects are not always robust. As an upper bound, we estimate that the contribution of modern gains in height and in BMI to the mortality decline of tuberculosis ranges from one-fourth to one-half with the rest explained by the decline in the prevalence of water and airborne diseases, especially diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid played. The paper finds weaker support for alternative hypotheses that rely on occupational influences and exogenous changes in the virulence of tuberculosis.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2004. "An Impossible Undertaking: The Eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(03), pages 734-772, September.
- Costa, Dora L., 2003.
"Understanding mid-life and older age mortality declines: evidence from Union Army veterans,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 175-192, January.
- Dora L. Costa, 2000. "Understanding Mid-Life and Older Age Mortality Declines: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," NBER Working Papers 8000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lee, Chulhee, 1997. "Socioeconomic Background, Disease, and Mortality among Union Army Recruits: Implications for Economic and Demographic History," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 27-55, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:48:y:2011:i:2:p:325-342. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.