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November 13, 1996

Dietary Sodium and Blood Pressure

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee
University of California, Berkeley

JAMA. 1996;276(18):1468. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540180024014

To the Editor.  —Just as the meta-analysis that addressed the impact of dietary salt reduction on blood pressure was published in JAMA,1 an updated analysis from the Intersalt study was published in the BMJ.2 The investigators of this large, observational study indicate that their earlier estimates of the association of salt intake with both level of blood pressure and increase of blood pressure with age were underestimated because of incomplete statistical correction for regression dilution bias. They concluded that the results of the Intersalt study support population-based recommemdations for salt reduction for the prevention and control of adverse blood pressure levels. Several accompanying editorials and letters to the editor concur with this recommendation and are critical of the "vested interest" of the food industry for keeping the salt controversy alive. The media continue to publicize this apparent controversy.Any guideline for an upper limit of sodium intake is admittedly arbitrary and