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November 2, 1935


Author Affiliations


From the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Minneapolis General Hospital.

JAMA. 1935;105(18):1396-1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760440006003

The appalling death rate associated with essential hypertension1 is just beginning to dawn on the medical public. Bell and Clawson2 found that 12.6 per cent of all patients over 40 years of age and 14.8 per cent of all patients over 50 years of age coming to autopsy had a history of high blood pressure or showed anatomic evidences of having had hypertension. These figures were partly based on increased heart weight in cases showing no valve defect, adherent pericardium, chronic nephritis or hyperthyroidism. There is some slight error in the assumption that idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy is always due to increased blood pressure, but this slight error is well balanced by the fact that in some cases of severe hypertension known to have existed for years previous to autopsy the hearts are of normal weight. On the other hand, Bell and Clawson have considered only female hearts