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March 10, 1962

Cardiovascular Deaths

Author Affiliations

389 Loudonville Rd., Loudonville, N.Y.

JAMA. 1962;179(10):825. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050100079024

To the Editor:—  Your editorial entitled "The Water Factor and Cardiovascular Deaths" (JAMA178: 1026 [Dec. 9] 1961) referred to studies in the United States, Japan, and England which indicated that soft drinking water was directly related to a high cardiovascular death rate. Hardness of water is primarily related to the amount of bicarbonates of Ca and Mg contained therein. Of the various elements found in natural water, Mg deficiency has been implicated repeatedly in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular dyscrasias. Magnesium ion is the second most abundant intracellular electrolyte and is essential for the activity of many intracellular enzyme systems of vital importance. Although a little more than 20 gm. of Mg is found in the body, only about 0.5 gm. is found in extracellular fluids; its concentration in human plasma is relatively low and stable. Magnesium content of the blood is essential for the function of the neuromuscular system