Malzberg, Benjamin

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MALZBERG, BENJAMIN (1893–1975), U.S. psychiatric statistician and epidemiologist. Malzberg was born in New York City and from 1923 to 1928 served as statistician to the Department of Welfare of New York State. After serving on the Committee on State Hospital Problems, he moved to the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene in 1940, becoming the director of its statistical bureau in 1944, and its consultant in 1956. Malzberg performed numerous studies of a statistical and epidemiological nature. Among his early researches were "Mortality among Patients with Mental Disease" (1934); "Hereditary and Environmental Factors in Dementia Praecox and Manic-Depressive Psychoses" (with associates, 1938); "Social and Biological Aspects of Mental Disease" (1946). Migration and Mental Disease appeared in 1956, as did his important study Mental Disease among Jews in New York State (1960). Mental Disease among Jews in Canada appeared in 1963 and Ethnic Variations in Mental Disease in New York State in 1966. His studies also covered the mental health of African-Americans and alcoholic psychoses. In his studies of mental illness among Jews, Malzberg demonstrated a higher incidence of psychotic depression among Jews than among white non-Jews (as measured by hospital admissions). His research confirmed the general knowledge that the incidence of alcoholism was very low among Jews.

[Louis Miller]