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October 26, 1963

Hard Water and Coronary Disease

Author Affiliations

Jacksonville, Fla.

JAMA. 1963;186(4):439-440. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710040165020

To the Editor:  —In the April 6 issue of The Journal, in the Questions and Answers section (184:85), there was a discussion about areas with hard water having a lower coronary mortality. The statistical studies by Schroeder mentioned in the discussion showed a negative correlation (protective effect) with contents of magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate, sulfate, fluoride, dissolved solids, the specific conductivity of water, and especially with pH. When considering an effect on coronary mortality, there is the possibility of a preventive effect on atherosclerosis, or an effect of preventing fatal arrhythmias, or an effect on blood clotting, to mention a few.Magnesium and calcium have been used to treat cardiac arrhythmias. Magnesium is a vasodilator. It reduces the conductivity of the myocardium; it depresses the central nervous system. Some laboratory technicians place MgSO4 on the finger before sticking for a platelet count, to prevent the platelets from agglutinating. Magnesium

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