c o n c l u s i o n
From 1900 through the 1940s cemetery records for the city of La Paz
remained shockingly the same, showing only minor variations ac-
cording to season and fluctuations when epidemics were particularly
severe. Children and infants were carried off by whooping cough,
dysentery, and various other gastrointestinal disorders, while people
of all ages died of typhoid, typhus, pneumonia, smallpox, and tu-
Yet these statistics were less discouraging than those for
other areas of the country where malaria, yaws, hookworm, and yel-
low fever were common. In the early 1950s infant mortality for the
entire country was estimated at 176 deaths per 1,000 live births;
life expectancy was forty-two years for women and thirty-eight for
Throughout the period of this study doctors and politicians of-
fered varying explanations for the nation’s ill health, some of them,
especially in the 1940s, focusing on social and economic inequities.
Yet most experts who suggested causes and solutions never could
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