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June 9, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(6):554. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970060068021

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To the Editor:—  The Journal, March 17, page 997, carried my letter mentioning evidence that saltless diet can reduce puerperal eclampsia to the vanishing point. Newspapers now are informing the public of observations presented at the recent meeting of the American Society for Experimental Pathology at Atlantic City, N. J., showing that among 1,346 employees of the Brookhaven National Laboratory the incidence of essential hypertension was significantly related to the salt intake. This adds to the large growth of evidence supporting salt restriction for treatment and prophylaxis, which I have advocated since 1920. Negative arguments regarding saltless diet have been (1) that it fails to reduce the pressure in a group of "refractory" cases, though its similar failure to clear up many cases of advanced anasarca does not discredit its benefit for edema, and (2) that many hypertension cases are "benign" in the sense of being compatible with longevity; but

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