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    Simoons, Frederick J. 2001. Persistence of lactase activity among Northern Europeans: A weighing of evidence for the calcium absorption hypothesis. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, Vol. 40, Issue. 5, p. 397.

  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

III.4 - Diseases of Infancy and Early Childhood

from Part III - Medical Specialties and Disease Prevention
In ancient times physicians wrote primarily on the care of infants, and only incidentally about children's diseases, because their concept of medicine stressed the maintenance of health rather than the diagnosis of specific disease entities. Cross-infection had frequently ravaged pediatric wards in the early nineteenth century; hence, with the discovery that microorganisms caused contagious diseases, the isolation of potentially infective patients seemed an obvious solution. According to English vital statistics, the main killers of infants were atrophy and debility, pulmonary diseases, convulsions and meningitis, diarrheal diseases, and tuberculosis. This chapter presents a list of important disease categories with a short discussion of how changes in traditional thinking gradually provided a new basis for remedial action. It discusses diseases related to infant feeding deficiency diseases, congenital abnormalities, and infectious diseases. The twentieth century paved way for the recognition and treatment of hormonal disorders, of hemolytic disease of the newborn, and of numerous neurological and viral disorders.
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