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July 4, 1986

Cowpersons Is Milkpersons

Author Affiliations

Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC

JAMA. 1986;256(1):39. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380010043018

To the Editor.—  I was aghast to read the assertion by Dr John A. Churchill1 in a recent letter published in JAMA that the possible explanation for lack of reported cases of milk sickness in humans2 may be due to the fact that "cowboys don't drink much milk."I can speak from my own experience tending cattle back in my native state of Oklahoma that not only do I drink milk, but I consume much more than I do when I'm in North Carolina tending my residency duties. This discrepancy prompted an informal telephone survey, by myself, of cowboy and cowgirl acquaintances in Oklahoma and Texas.The results were no surprise to me. The mean consumption of milk in one form or another varied from 2 to 8 L per cowperson per week. This rivals if not exceeds the weekly milk consumption of the typical city dweller and