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September 1983

Analgesic NephropathyFor This Time and for This Place

Author Affiliations

Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases National Institutes of Health Bldg 10, Room 9N240 Bethesda, MD 20205

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(9):1676-1677. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350090042006

The medical literature sometimes makes it seem that all pharmacologic triumphs are tragically tainted. It is, therefore, a particular joy to read in this issue of the Archives an article which subtracts from rather than adds to our fears. The ingestion of substantial quantities of analgesics does not appear to contribute more than a tiny amount, if at all, to end-stage renal disease in the United States.

See also p 1687.

It may be presumptuous to extend the findings in eastern Pennsylvania in the late 1970s to the whole United States for, say, the next decade, since much of the confusion about analgesic nephropathy arose from extending epidemiologic observations about the social habits of Australian housewives and Swiss factory girls—both given incontinently to consuming phenacetin-containing analgesic mixtures—to the rest of the world, but that earlier extrapolation is not analagous. Murray et al did what none of their predecessors in the

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