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September 3, 1960


JAMA. 1960;174(1):69. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030010071018

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Considerable evidence has now appeared in the literature linking a deficiency of magnesium to clinical symptoms in man. It seems that the physician, already burdened with the necessity of reckoning with sodium, potassium, and calcium in disease states, now must also be alert for evidence of magnesium depletion. The failure of physicians to recognize the importance of magnesium depletion earlier is, at least in part, explainable by the relatively difficult determination methods necessary in the past. With simpler methods now becoming available, we can expect the understanding of the role of magnesium in clinical medicine to advance more rapidly. In other words, the present position of magnesium metabolism may not be unlike that of potassium prior to the development of the flame photometer.

It is pointed out in the communication "The Clinical Expression of Magnesium Deficiency," appearing in this issue of The Journal, p. 77, that magnesium want often is

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