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Salt and Hypertension

Robert A. Holden, MD; Adrian M. Ostfeld, MD
JAMA. 1984;251(24):3224. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340480018018.
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To the Editor.—  We agree with the basic message of Dr Belding Scribner's1 editorial, "Salt and Hypertension," but he has read an implication into our article, "Dietary Salt Intake and Blood Pressure,"2 that was not intended. Our observations are in accord with Dr Scribner's statement that 70% to 80% of us "do not have to worry about salt intake," but our report should not be construed to imply, as Dr Scribner has done, that "sodium restriction is futile in the control of hypertension." Our points are the following: (1) Salt restriction is not an appropriate public health measure to impose on the entire general population because the blood pressure of not more than a small, poorly defined percentage of persons would benefit. (2) Although there is evidence that salt restriction is clinically useful for the control of hypertension in certain salt-sensitive persons, its importance relative to other dietary

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