Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/331

This page has been validated.

In Table III. we have the ratio of disease to complexion. In this, the light complexions show their marked predisposition to skin-diseases; and, notwithstanding their free lung-expansion, show a nearly equal liability to diseases of the respiratory organs with those of dark skins. The light men prove their greater glandular and muscular activity by their excess over dark in diseases of the digestive, circulatory, and locomotor systems; while the dark group, although composed largely of men of nervous temperament, nearly equal the light in frequency of nervous disease. It is interesting to note that, in the same table from which Table III. is compiled, Dr. Baxter gives the total of dark men rejected for all diseases at 38,916, and of the light, 83,700, a difference rather less than that indicated by the mean difference as exhibited in our table. In general diseases, which include fevers, infectious diseases, and all others not confined locally, we find the light men leading the dark by a difference only equaled by their excess over the latter in diseases of the digestive system. This is due, I think, in a great measure to the predisposition of the sanguine to diseases of the febrile or inflammatory type, as has been already mentioned.

TABLE IV.—Ratio of Deformities to Complexion.

DEFORMITIES. Number examined, Number examined,
117.229 217.321
Ratio per 1,000. Ratio per 1,000.
Curvature of spine 4.110 4.874
Atrophy of limb 3.640 4.303
Club-foot 1.128 1.579
Wry-neck 0.103 0.143
Deficient size of chest 11.100 17.405
Deformity of chest 2.128 2.996
Loss of limb 0.598 0.686
Defects or deformities of hand 7.032 7.699
Defects or deformities of foot 8.605 9.899

Table IV. gives an idea of the ratios of deformities in the two groups, and, while not proving much either way, presents a few facts of great interest. It will be observed that the physical defect which shows the greatest difference, and that in favor of the dark class, is deficient size of the chest. In view of the fact that light men exhibit a larger range, of chest-expansion, this excess in the defective size of the chest is unlooked for. The other chest-defect is deformity, in which the difference in ratio in the two groups is only about .18. The fact that two classes are made in the chest-deformities leads me to suppose that the deformities are congenital, or the result of defective development in childhood; while the deficiency in size is the result of disease or injury later in life. This supposition opens the way to an explanation of the phenomenon. Owing to the greater liability of