14. Climate - The Causes of Consumption or Tuberculosis

Much has been said about the influence of climate as a cause of consumption; but we think that much more has been charged to climate than is really just. The opinion prevails that the inhabitants of cold climates are particularly subject to diseases of the lungs, especially to tuberculosis; but it has within a few years been clearly shown by careful observation that dwellers in cold climates are no more subject to the disease than the inhabitants of the tropical regions. In fact, some nations living at the extreme north are almost wholly exempt from the malady which is the greatest bane of the race in temperate climates. The truth in regard to this matter seems to be that consumption is most prevalent in countries in which the climate is changeable, being subject to sudden and rapid alternations of heat and cold. Either steady cold or moderate, continuous heat are much more favorable to health of the lungs than alternations of temperature.