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View Full Version : Difference in death causes among Christians & Jews of Warsaw in years ca. 1800 - 1805



Tomenable
22-04-15, 02:36
CAUSE OF DEATH
Jewish men
Jewish women
Total


Tuberculosis
5,3%
3,7%
4,6%


Smallpox
16,9%
23,9%
20,0%


other causes
77,8%
72,4%
75,4%


Sample size for Jewish deaths is 862 (486 men and 376 women).



CAUSE OF DEATH
Christian men
Christian women
Total


Tuberculosis
18,5%
18,2%
18,3%


Smallpox
12,4%
15,7%
13,9%


other causes
69,1%
66,1%
67,8%


Sample size for Christian deaths is 5860 (3143 men and 2717 women).

Source: Cezary Kukło, "Demography of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth", chapter 8 "Deaths".

Could the reason for lower tuberculosis mortality of Jews be genetic, or something about their culture/behaviour?

On the other hand, smallpox mortality was significantly higher among Jews.

LeBrok
22-04-15, 03:39
Sample size for Jewish deaths is 862 (486 men and 376 women)
Could the reason for lower tuberculosis mortality of Jews be genetic, or something about their culture/behaviour?
On the other hand, smallpox mortality was significantly higher among Jews.
Knowing how isolated and autonomously distinct Jewish population was, it is very likely that it was mostly a genetic issue. Possibly very related to HLA gene family, for which Maciamo is doing the new maps for.

http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/4/621.full

In a study of Indian patients with juvenile SpA, tuberculosis was diagnosed in 14.3% of cases of whom 60% possessed HLA-B27, suggesting that B27 positivity may also predispose to tuberculosis [56 (http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/4/621.full#ref-56)]. An association has also been reported between HLA-B27 and tuberculosis in Tuvinian nationals in the Republic of Tyva in Central Asia
http://cdn.eupedia.com/images/content/HLA-B27.png



And HLA association with smallpox.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24880604

Angela
24-04-15, 05:53
I'm not sure about this, but isn't tuberculosis connected to animal husbandry, especially cattle? If my memory serves cattle and cow's milk were primary agents for the spread of tuberculosis in the Victorian era. Since Jews were not allowed to own land in certain areas, or at least were often in cities, they might not have been exposed as often to cows. Was this the case in Poland?

At any rate, kosher rules mandating the separation of milk products and meat products might have cut down on cross contamination. Also, Kosher meat has to be handled in very specific ways. One of the most important aspects of it is that the blood is drained and the meat is salted, but also any blemish, any disease in any of the organs, especially the lungs, and the meat is considered unfit to eat. Might that not cut down on tuberculosis exposure?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut

I don't know about smallpox. Didn't dairymaids and other people who worked with cattle often get exposed to cowpox and so developed an immunity to small pox? If many Jews were city dwellers they wouldn't have been working with cattle very much.

That doesn't mean genetic factors might not have been at play.

As to the map above, the lighter areas look as if they might be higher in Neolithic ancestry? Would that make sense in that they'd have more resistance against cattle diseases because they were around them longer?

Greying Wanderer
24-04-15, 20:48
I'm not sure about this, but isn't tuberculosis connected to animal husbandry, especially cattle? If my memory serves cattle and cow's milk were primary agents for the spread of tuberculosis in the Victorian era. Since Jews were not allowed to own land in certain areas, or at least were often in cities, they might not have been exposed as often to cows. Was this the case in Poland?

At any rate, kosher rules mandating the separation of milk products and meat products might have cut down on cross contamination. Also, Kosher meat has to be handled in very specific ways. One of the most important aspects of it is that the blood is drained and the meat is salted, but also any blemish, any disease in any of the organs, especially the lungs, and the meat is considered unfit to eat. Might that not cut down on tuberculosis exposure?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut

I don't know about smallpox. Didn't dairymaids and other people who worked with cattle often get exposed to cowpox and so developed an immunity to small pox? If many Jews were city dwellers they wouldn't have been working with cattle very much.

That doesn't mean genetic factors might not have been at play.

As to the map above, the lighter areas look as if they might be higher in Neolithic ancestry? Would that make sense in that they'd have more resistance against cattle diseases because they were around them longer?

I was thinking it might be somehow connected to cattle.

Tomenable
24-04-15, 22:29
Thank you for your answers! I just want to remind you Angela, that this data refers to inhabitants of the city of Warsaw only - so all of them were urban dwellers, both Christians and Jews. Warsaw at that time was still a pre-industrial city, though it was already large. I don't think there was so much of animal husbandry in Warsaw going on at that time (but perhaps there was some in the suburbs).

BTW - some population figures for Warsaw (all figures before 1784 are estimates, since 1816 I give also data for Jews):

1564 - 25,000 (at that time there were not yet any Jews in Warsaw)
1654 - 47,500 (another sources gives this number under year 1624)
(...)
1780 - 70,000
1784 - 96,153 (1st census)
1787 - 98,000
1792 - 120,000
(...)
1797 - 64,829 (2nd census) + 10,806 soldiers of the garrison
1810 - 77,727 (3rd census)
(...)
1816 - 81,020 (including 15,579 believers of Judaism - 19,2%)
1817 - 88,362 (including 18,491 believers of Judaism - 20,9%)
1825 - 126,433 (including 28,044 believers of Judaism - 22,2%)
1829 - 139,654 (including 30,943 believers of Judaism - 22,2%)
1832 - 123,535 (including 31,384 believers of Judaism - 25,4%)
(...)
1856 - 156,562 (including 40,992 believers of Judaism - 26,2%)
1864 - 222,906 (including 72,776 believers of Judaism - 32,6%)
1877 - 308,548 (including 102,246 believers of Judaism - 33,1%)
1897 - 625,000 (including 210,500 believers of Judaism - 33,7%)
1900 - 683,692
(...)
1910 - 895,435 (including 308,488 believers of Judaism - 34,5%)
1914 - 885,000 (including 337,000 believers of Judaism - 38,1%)
(...)
1921 - 936,713 (including 310,322 believers of Judaism - 33,1%)
1931 - 1,171,898 (including 352,659 believers of Judaism - 30,1%)
(...)
1941 - 1,351,800 (including 411,000 believers of Judaism - 30,4%)
(...)
1946 - 478,755

==========================

As you can see since 1816 until 1914 % of Jews among the total population of Warsaw was constantly increasing.

That was perhaps due to Jewish population (note that most of them were Orthodox Jews) having more children than Christians. Significant Jewish emigration from Warsaw (mostly to the USA) in the 2nd half of the 19th century and in first years of the 20th century (until WW1) could not "consume" entire natural growth, especially that in addition to slightly higher natural growth than among Christians, there was also Jewish immigration to Warsaw from smaller settlements and from abroad (mostly from the east - so called "Litvaks").

About immigration of Jewish "Litvaks" from the east to Warsaw:


(...) This growth resulted not only from natural increase and migration from the small towns and villages of the Congress Kingdom but also from the movement of Jews from the Russian Pale of Jewish Settlement to Warsaw, which was legal after 1868. This movement intensified after the introduction of new anti-Jewish laws in the tsarist empire after 1881, which did not apply to the Congress Kingdom. In all, by the outbreak of World War I, perhaps 150,000 "Litvaks", as Jews from these areas were called, had moved to Warsaw. (...)

Angela
25-04-15, 01:39
I've never done much research in this area, but I figure the USDA should know what it's talking about. Apparently there are two types of TB bacillus, one human and one bovine. There seems to be a dispute as to who first infected whom. There is no dispute as to the fact that humans can become infected by the bovine version, often through drinking infected raw milk (this is obviously not a problem now, what with pasteurization), but also from improperly handled or cooked meat from an infected animal, and from merely working with them. Also, animals raised in dark pens in more urban environments were also apparently far less healthy than those raised in the country because fresh air and sunlight kill the bacillus.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPHS/tbbroch.htm
http://www.bovinetb.co.uk/article.php?article_id=24

Just anecdotally, a lot of Jews of my acquaintance are lactose intolerant so I doubt they did much drinking of raw milk. Their method of inspecting, butchering and cooking meat might have lessened their chances of infection as well.

It's my understanding that the Torah mandates that the husband must do his "duty" to his wife at least once a week. Perhaps, once infant mortality rates went down that had something to do with it. :) This is just going by what someone told me, so don't quote me on this!

Ed. This study is also very interesting. The authors claim that in 19th century Britain virtually the entire milk drinking population was infected with the bovine version of TB, and in postmortems of children under 12, 30% of them had contracted the disease.
https://www.academia.edu/3161017/Milk_consumption_and_tuberculosis_in_Britain_1850-1950

Drinking milk was not an unalloyed blessing before pasteurization.

Greying Wanderer
25-04-15, 22:41
I've never done much research in this area, but I figure the USDA should know what it's talking about. Apparently there are two types of TB bacillus, one human and one bovine. There seems to be a dispute as to who first infected whom. There is no dispute as to the fact that humans can become infected by the bovine version, often through drinking infected raw milk (this is obviously not a problem now, what with pasteurization), but also from improperly handled or cooked meat from an infected animal, and from merely working with them. Also, animals raised in dark pens in more urban environments were also apparently far less healthy than those raised in the country because fresh air and sunlight kill the bacillus.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPHS/tbbroch.htm
http://www.bovinetb.co.uk/article.php?article_id=24

Just anecdotally, a lot of Jews of my acquaintance are lactose intolerant so I doubt they did much drinking of raw milk. Their method of inspecting, butchering and cooking meat might have lessened their chances of infection as well.

It's my understanding that the Torah mandates that the husband must do his "duty" to his wife at least once a week. Perhaps, once infant mortality rates went down that had something to do with it. :) This is just going by what someone told me, so don't quote me on this!

Ed. This study is also very interesting. The authors claim that in 19th century Britain virtually the entire milk drinking population was infected with the bovine version of TB, and in postmortems of children under 12, 30% of them had contracted the disease.
https://www.academia.edu/3161017/Milk_consumption_and_tuberculosis_in_Britain_1850-1950

Drinking milk was not an unalloyed blessing before pasteurization.

"Drinking milk was not an unalloyed blessing before pasteurization."

I think this is true but on the other hand the bigger the negatives involved in drinking milk (and I think the animal disease aspect is likely to be a big one) the bigger the benefit must have been to outweigh them.

Personally I think the benefit was largely to do with calories (more or less proven imo by faster spread in the north than the south)(and may have been all to do with calories) but it's a shame no-one has tried to find out if there is some other benefit as if discovered the magic ingredient could probably be extracted and everyone could get it.

LeBrok
25-04-15, 23:14
I'm not sure about this, but isn't tuberculosis connected to animal husbandry, especially cattle? If my memory serves cattle and cow's milk were primary agents for the spread of tuberculosis in the Victorian era. Since Jews were not allowed to own land in certain areas, or at least were often in cities, they might not have been exposed as often to cows. Was this the case in Poland?

At any rate, kosher rules mandating the separation of milk products and meat products might have cut down on cross contamination. Also, Kosher meat has to be handled in very specific ways. One of the most important aspects of it is that the blood is drained and the meat is salted, but also any blemish, any disease in any of the organs, especially the lungs, and the meat is considered unfit to eat. Might that not cut down on tuberculosis exposure?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashrut

I don't know about smallpox. Didn't dairymaids and other people who worked with cattle often get exposed to cowpox and so developed an immunity to small pox? If many Jews were city dwellers they wouldn't have been working with cattle very much.

That doesn't mean genetic factors might not have been at play.

As to the map above, the lighter areas look as if they might be higher in Neolithic ancestry? Would that make sense in that they'd have more resistance against cattle diseases because they were around them longer?
Good argument. I was sure it was mostly genetic, but you changed my mind.

hope
26-04-15, 17:56
I don't know about smallpox. Didn't dairymaids and other people who worked with cattle often get exposed to cowpox and so developed an immunity to small pox? If many Jews were city dwellers they wouldn't have been working with cattle very much.?
I had heard something similar but could not remember the details and had to look it up. Through reading regarding it, I found another piece regarding British horse mounted troops in 1790 were shown to likewise be less infected by smallpox than were infantry. They say this is due to being exposed to the similar horse pox virus, Variola equina. It`s only a wikipedia article but I link it regardless...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowpox

Here is a piece may also be interesting...I remembered reading this at one point and filing it...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23897670


http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2013/09/origins-of-mycobacterium-tuberculosis-discovered.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ICTS

I did have an abstract regarding the study but would have to search harder to find it. However it was, if I remember correctly, only that, an abstract, so not much loss.

Greying Wanderer
27-04-15, 01:10
Good argument. I was sure it was mostly genetic, but you changed my mind.

The two things would likely be connected. A gene that protects against bovine diseases might be selected more in populations that rely on cattle.

It would be interesting to see if those genes had been selected for in northern Europe since the chalcolithic.

kyrani99
03-12-15, 18:36
You have to ask yourself what was happening in Poland 1800 -1805 and maybe also just prior to that period?

In 1794 there is a horrific massacre
"Massacre of Praga November 4, 1794 Praga, Warsaw 6000 killed or wounded"
according to one source of Wikipedia while another part of it said:

"Almost all of the area was pillaged and inhabitants of the Praga district were tortured, raped and murdered. The exact death toll of that day remains unknown, but it is estimated that up to 20,000 people were killed."


Then we have in the 1800s in "the age of foreign Partitions" marked by the gross abuse of power especially by the Russians" again from Wikipedia.

So you have a huge community of people being badly stressed and that can lead to fear and the decline of immunity.
Finally in 1806 Napoleon I created the Duchy of Warsaw under French care and fought off the Russians so people's lives returned to normal and their health improved. There was no medicines for the plagues of Smallpox and tuberculosis, there are still none today. If it was simply the microorganism that caused the disease then the plague would have just gone on and on.

There are efforts made to link the immunity gained from vaccination to genetics but IMO it only reflects the different responses of individuals to a vaccine. Natural immunity is always the best form of immunity and if you are healthy and able to handle stress then your body builds that natural immunity. It is all you need to fights off the pathogens and under good circumstances and understanding how to handle stress you won't even know you had any infection because you won't get sick.