The treatment of hypertension by salt restriction was advocated in 1904. There was some foundation for the doctrine in Widal's work on edema, but it was generally opposed except in France, where it found enthusiastic supporters. Allen's report,1 in 1920, revived the subject, but seemed insufficient to convince many observers. Recently, Allen and Sherrill2 reported 180 cases of hypertension treated by salt restriction which they believe provide a suitable test of the method.
The cases were limited to patients with a systolic blood pressure above 175 mm. of mercury. They were cases (1) of "essential" hypertension with plasma chlorid concentrations above 580 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters; (2) with plasma chlorid concentrations below 580 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters; (3) of hypertension and nephritis, and (4) of hypertension and diabetes. They were observed for periods varying from one month to four years. A normal blood pressure was restored