Prior Exposure to Disease and Later Health and Mortality

Edited by Chulhee Lee

in Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780226116181
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116198 | DOI:
Prior Exposure to Disease and Later Health and Mortality

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This chapter, which explores the effects of socioeconomic status and local disease environment on the later health and mortality of Union Army recruits, shows that prior exposure to unfavorable epidemiological environments reduced the chances of contracting and dying from disease while in service. Farmers and rural residents, who were healthier on average prior to enlistment owing to a greater extent of isolation from other people, were more likely to succumb to illness and to be killed by disease than nonfarmers and urban dwellers, respectively. Native recruits were subject to a greater risk of illness than were foreigners, who had more chances of exposure to infectious diseases in the course of immigration.

Keywords: socioeconomic status; disease environment; health; mortality; Union Army recruits; enlistment; farmers; rural residents; disease risk

Chapter.  15737 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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