Influence of Seasonal Variation on Health

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, April 20, 1914:  There really isn’t much to write about.

McEwensville

McEwensville

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Yesterday, I shared information from a book published in 1914 about the relationship between weather and health. Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some more from the book about the relationship seasonal variations and health.

At low temperatures, but more especially at high temperatures, the relative humidity of the atmospheres plays a most important role in determining the healthfulness of the climate of a locality.

The seasonal variations alone in the temperate zone are of great influence upon mortality aside from the general climatic conditions of a locality.

Mild winters and cool summers both lower the mortality, the former exerting a special influence upon the aged, and the latter upon the young, more particularly the infantile population. A cool, damp summer is always accompanied by a low mortality.

Season has also an important influence upon the character of the prevalent diseases—intestinal diseases being most prevalent in summer and respiratory diseases in winter.

The Principles of Hygiene (1914) by D.H. Bergey, MD

17 Responses

  1. I guess we need milder weather, don’t we?

  2. We’ve come so far in regards to our overall health, haven’t we??

  3. My sources say we are going to have an El Niño this year. That should mean a cooler summer for the eastern ⅔ of the country.

  4. Cold and damp doesn’t sound very nice to me :)

  5. The solution is no more mid-winter and cool summers! Simple. :)
    Diana xo

  6. Doesn’t it make you wonder if some of the medical advice we take for granted today will seem absurd 100 years from now?

    • I have no doubt that you are right that some of our general knowledge about health and medicine will be considered ridiculous a hundred years from now. . . Even within our lifetimes, some medical advice has shifted radically.

  7. I love these old medical books. They’re such an interesting window into how people thought. I recall reading in another 100+ year old medical book that menstruating girls should avoid activities which cause overexcitement – such as piano playing and novel reading!!

    • I’ve read similar things in old medical/hygiene books. It’s hard to understand how they had such strange ideas about women’s health back then.

  8. You have such a great way of finding historical pieces of interest when Grandma doesn’t write much.

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