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The Place of Climatology in Medicine: being the Samuel Hyde Memorial Lectures, 1913

Nature volume 92, pages 448449 (18 December 1913) | Download Citation



AT a time when the broad features of the climate of civilised countries are well established through long series of exact observations, it is well to be reminded that an accurate knowledge of the local variations, especially of wind and rainfall, are of vital importance in medical climatology. We have yet to produce properly contoured large-scale maps of climate, even for well-populated districts, and these are necessary for the medical expert in those investigations which are essential if the practising physician is to be enabled to base his prescription of climate upon knowledge rather than hearsay and hypothesis. Dr. Gordon gave a new impetus to such research by his inquiry into the effect of rain-bearing winds upon the prevalence of phthisis, and in these lectures he emphasises the need for further detailed investigations of this character; he instances in particular cancer and rheumatic fever as suitable subjects owing to the considerable local variations which he has observed in the distribution of these diseases. The information to be derived from such researches would be useful to the physician in diagnosis and prognosis, as well as in its more obvious applications.

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