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June 30, 1934


JAMA. 1934;102(26):2189-2190. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750260035014

Edema is one of the common symptoms with which the practicing physician is forced to cope. Certain types of edema have long been recognized as concomitants of circulatory or renal disorders, notably in association with heart disease, venous and lymphatic obstruction and acute glomerular nephritis. Of late, considerable interest has been centered in a formerly unrecognized cause of fluid accumulation in the tissues in which the dominant factor is a lowered content of protein in the blood plasma. Experiments on animals have confirmed the development of so-called nutritional edema, commonly described as "war edema" during the World War, as a result of protein deficiency in the diet. As a recent writer1 has summarized present knowledge, chronic malnutrition, from whatever cause, and particularly dietary deficiency of protein, is invariably associated with a decrease in plasma protein. The albumin fraction is especially affected, because it is formed with greater difficulty than

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