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July 2, 1982

Effect of Meat on BP

JAMA. 1982;248(1):29-30. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010013008

To the Editor.—  The recent article by Sacks et al (1981;246:640) showing that a rise in systolic BP occurred in vegetarians eating meat was quite interesting. Such a study has been done before, albeit 55 years ago, and with a smaller number of subjects. Donaldson1 showed a convincing rise in BP of vegetarians from 106/62 to almost 120/66 mm Hg after 16 days of eating a diet containing meat.As the editorial suggests (1981; 246:677), the results obtained by Sacks et al look as if they were influenced by anxiety on the part of the subjects who were eating meat reluctantly. Donaldson anticipated this, and his subjects were not strict vegetarians: "[They] indulged in flesh foods on special occasions. They were, therefore, not unused to flesh foods, and it was for this reason this particular group was selected."I have just completed a study in which I sought to