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In 1900 to 1910, the leading causes of death were common influenza, influenza-induced pnumonia, typhoid, other contagious or Infectious Diseases, and lastly, accidents and injuries. Murder, as in all decades, also took lives.

Keep in mind that penicillian was not developed and used widely before World War II. The majority of antibiotics have been developed after 1950s and most of them after 1980. Understanding of where, exactly, that drugs could interrupt infection growth was not accomplished until after studies were done on the DNA of bacteria and viruses. Many other discoveries have allowed physicians to not only fight infections, but to keep other body systems balanced while the infection was present. For example, intravenous fluid replacement was not in use 1900 to 1910, but today IV fluid support is considered crucial to maintain electrolyte and fluid balance during infection. We also didn't have the vaccines 100 years ago that we have now.

Typhoid incidence reduced when cities and towns were able to supply clean drinking water.

Disease like tuberculosis improved after people understood it was transferred through the respiratory system (e.g. through coughing primarily) and developed medications, rather than relying on isolation from the rest of the community to control the spread of disease.

While societies still suffer deaths from accident and injury, many social improvements lessened the risk of these. Child labor laws prevented children from being used for labor at young ages, lessening child death from industrial injuries. Unions helped protect adult workers from mandated long hours in deplorable conditions, thus improving general health plus reducing accidents.

The "automobile" was just beginning to enter US cities 100 years ago. It was common to have accidents and deaths from fast speeds in the absence of speed laws; cars were hit at locomotive crossings at least once a month because no railroad gates were at the time thought of; standard guardrails were not used (trees were) to mark edges of roadways; drunk driving was in its infancy, etc. Cities struggled to catch up with innovations. Injuries and accidents decreased when speed limits were set and enforced; when railroad crossings were blocked by automatic gates and lights; when steel guardrails replaced 'the clump of trees on the curve'. Unfortunately, despite several decades of "drunk driving" public service messages, societies still see high rates of deaths due to drunk driving (including passengers).

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14y ago
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13y ago

cardiovascular disease

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Q: What were the leading killers 100 years ago?
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