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The Selection of Lives (Revised Edition 1930)

  • Lewis P. Orr (a1)


The Paper is a revised edition of that contributed to the Faculty in 1919. In the interval there have been developments in medico-actuarial science, and it seemed desirable that they should be recorded.

The use and abuse of statistics are dealt with, and reference is made to Primary Selection by Branch Officials and to Medical Selection.

The Section of Family History Impairments opens with a reference to Heredity, Mendelism and Eugenics. The influence of Tuberculosis is discussed, and suggestions made for the assessing of the lives concerned. In view of the circumstance that there exists among many a confident belief in the hereditary nature of Cancer, there are given reasons for holding the opinion that when the Cancer problem is solved it is probable that the influence, if any, of heredity will be found to be distinctly small, and possibly negligible. A number of other diseases are dealt with briefly.

The Section of Personal History Impairments opens with Heart Abnormalities. Blood Pressure is gone into at some length. It is pointed out that hitherto there has been no recognised Standard Table of Blood Pressure in use among British Offices, and there is now put forward one compiled from the record of 1444 first-class lives. It is regarded as a Tentative Table, and is given in the hope that it will stimulate the production of another founded on a broader basis. The method of ascertaining the Blood Pressure is explained in an Appendix. Various other impairments are referred to; and probably of the articles revised the most important are those relating to Glycosuria and Gastroduodenal Ulcers.

Weight in relation to Height and Age is gone into, and reasons given for retaining the Table of 1919 in preference to the later Table of Seven Offices.

Female Lives, Non-medical Examination Business, Children's Assurances, etc., are the subjects of other paragraphs.

The Paper concludes with a reference to the public benefit of Life Assurance Research.



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page 226 note 1 In the Transactions of the Actuarial Society of America of May 1916, “an American Actuary, Mr. A. A. Welch, suggests an underwriting rule for over-weights something like the following : Divide the pounds over-weight by 7 and subtract 1. The result would be the number of years which the age should be advanced, making no advance in age unless the result is 3 or more.”

The Selection of Lives (Revised Edition 1930)

  • Lewis P. Orr (a1)


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