By E. Grebenik (auth.), J. E. Meade C.B., M.A., F.B.A., A. S. Parkes C.B.E, M.A., SC.D., F.R.S. (eds.)

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These rates are 26 BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS considerably higher than those for lung cancer, and their distribution by sex, age and time is different from both that of lung cancer and from that of each other. The statistics of deaths from these two causes have, however, been considerably affected by changes in classification over the years, and it is not possible to identify coronary disease as such in British data before about 1930. Moreover, some of the deaths from these causes are probably attributable to factors other than smoking; for instance, overweight, or large consumption of alcohol or sugar have been adduced as correlated conditions.

It appears that Chinese girls in Hong Kong, if belanging to well-off families, have the earliest recorded menarche; even the very poor Chinese girls still have menarche as early as most much better-aff Europeans. East Europeans seem to mature somewhat earlier than West Europeans, especially when economic circumstances are matched. Comfortably-off Americans are slightly ahead of West Europeans. Well-off Africans are not much later than Europeans, though badly-off Africans (the South African Bantu) certainly are.

There is no need to paint an exaggerated picture of the implications of the current high rates of population growth and to claim that we are heading for a disaster. Actually some improvements in the economic and social conditions at a moderate rate may be possible in the developing countries even if population growth is not checked soon. However, the important fact to bear in mind is that only a lower rate of population growth through a reduction in fertility will make it possible for these countries to attain some of their economic and social goals.

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