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January 17, 1948


Author Affiliations

1031 Fifth Avenue, New York 28.

JAMA. 1948;136(3):202. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890200056021

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To the Editor:—  A wrong impression may be created by the remark in the editorial of November 1 (The Journal, p. 576), that "sodium depletion also has morbidity and even a mortality." Nobody is known to have died from the salt-free treatment of hypertension. The symptomless toleration of a diet which would be rapidly fatal to normal persons is in itself evidence of a vascular abnormality and probably of a need for the diet. The symptoms of sodium deficiency in exceptional cases are too obvious to be overlooked, are quickly and easily corrected and are usually transitory, so that the commonest error will consist in giving too much salt and for too long a time. There is an absolute difference from the mortality and sequels which may follow surgical sympathectomy in spite of care or skill.Reference is made to the precipitation of uremia by withdrawal of salt in a