Alcohol, Nutrient Intake, and Hypertension

Robert A. Holden, MD
JAMA. 1985;254(4):503-504. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040053010.
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To the Editor.—  In their report, "Alcohol, Nutrient Intake, and Hypertension in US Adults," Gruchow et al1 conclude that their results reaffirm the importance of sodium intake on blood pressure among US adults. This conclusion is open to criticism on two counts.First, the authors do not make specific reference to any previous large general-population studies similar to theirs, the results of which they reaffirm. In fact, previous investigators endeavoring to find an association between sodium intake and blood pressure within large general-population groups have been unable to do so.2-8Second, the association between sodium intake and blood pressure found by the authors is so weak that it could as easily have been interpreted to reaffirm a lack of importance of sodium intake on blood pressure. Despite doing multiple comparisons, the authors used only P<.05 as the level of statistical significance, a level generally recognized as inadequate


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