In Reply.—When I was in the USSR in June 1979,I repeatedly requested data on infant mortality for the USSR as a whole and for its individual republics. The consistent response to my question was that they have no reliable data on infant mortality for their country overall, as it is very large, with many remote areas where accurate collection of data is impossible. The highest authority to whom I put the question was Prof M. Y. Studeniken, director of the Institute of Pediatrics of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow; his assistant, Professor Laparski, who speaks English fluently and who was formerly a staff member of the World Health Organization in Geneva, was present at this discussion, translated, and participated freely; and he concurred. I have no reason to doubt the impossibility of gathering complete and accurate data on infant mortality in the USSR.
I am pleased to