SEASONAL variation of mortality has long been a fact of common knowledge, and its cause the subject of speculation. The maximum invariably falls in the first quarter of the year and the minimum in the third quarter. The difference between the two quarters is considerable; in 1931–35 the maximum was 60 per cent greater than the minimum. Is there any way, it may be asked, of reducing this difference, or is the winter excess due to causes of death over which at present we have little means of control? A comparison of the mortality figures of England and Wales with those of the United States shows that the winter peak is higher in the former, although in summer they fall to a lower point than the United States figures.
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Seasonal Mortality in England and the United States. Nature 146, 126 (1940). https://doi.org/10.1038/146126b0