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Grażyna Liczbińska: Spatial and Social Inequalities in the Face of Death. Pilot Research on Cholera Epidemics in Poznań of the Second Half of the 19th Century. [Abstract]

In the second half of the 19th century, various quarters of Poznań differed in terms of infrastructure, including access to clean water. This paper aims to analyse whether these spatial and social inequalities related to the quarter of residence in the city, and thereby whether access to sanitary infrastructure and clean water intake, and in general, differences in living conditions, influenced the probability of death from cholera. Data from four cholera epidemics – 1852, 1855, 1866, and 1873 – were used for this purpose. In total, 16,285 individual data entries from death registers of Catholic and Protestant parishes were used regarding such information as the date of death, sex, age at death, cause of death, profession, religion, and exact address of residence. There was a significant relationship between socioeconomic factors (quarter of residence, denomination, professions) and biological factors (sex and age at death), and the distributions of deaths due to cholera and other causes. Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) revealed that living in the Old Market Square did not decrease the chance of death from cholera, and on the other hand, living on the right bank of the Warta River did not increase the chance of death from cholera. In other words, better quarter of residence did not guarantee lower morbidity and did not protect from cholera and vice versa. This work also proves a significant interaction between the quarter of residence and such variables as denomination and occupation on probability of death from specific cause. Virtually until the end of the 19th century, the sanitary conditions in Poznań were so poor that they were conducive to epidemics of infectious diseases.

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