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August 26, 1950


JAMA. 1950;143(17):1514. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910520056026

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To the Editor:—  The article entitled "Alcohol in the Treatment of Angina Pectoris" by Drs. Russek, Naegele and Regan (The Journal, May 27, p. 355), on the lack of merit of alcohol in the treatment of angina pectoris, brings up the parallel question whether alcohol is useful in peripheral vascular disease. The wide use of this drug in peripheral vascular disease stems from its alleged inhibition of the development of atherosclerosis, its action as a vasodilator and its sedative effect. There are several indications that the drug is not effective in these three directions.The work of Wilens (The Journal, Dec. 27, 1947, p. 1136) indicates that atherosclerosis is prevented only when the intake of alcohol is sufficient to entail general malnutrition. The vasodilator action of alcohol is capricious, being pronounced in some persons but not in others. In purely vasospastic states, alcohol may do away with symptoms of vasoconstriction

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