Friday, April 03, 2009


I have always taught my patients that one of the best ways to lower mild to moderate blood pressure is a healthy lifestyle, including alot of greens, fruits, exercise and lose weight. We all know that not all mild to moderate hypertensives need drug therapy to start, especially if they are obese and have a low risk profile with no target organ damage.
Just just concluded ACC 2009 at Orlando had a small paper out by investigators from University of North Carolina, Chapelhill, showing that subjects with mild to moderate hypertension had BP reduction on the DASH diet when compared to usual therapy. Those who were also on a regime of exercise and weight reduction ( in addition to the DASH diet ), had even better BP control. The DASH diet is basically a diet rich in greens veges and fruits. This is a small study with about 49 subjects in each of the arms ( the usual therapy arm, the DASH diet arm and the DASH + exercise + weight reduction arm. The subjects all had mild to moderate hypertension and were with BMI 33 or more. Small study ( size apart ), this is a well conducted trial. Healthy lifestyle is what we should all promote.
I suppose the message that I would like to convey would be that if you are overweight and have just been told that you have mild hypertension, go on a weight reducing diet, including alot of green veges and fruits and also exercise regularly. It is very healthy, cheap, and effective without side effects. Of course, it requires sacrifice and also discipline. In a way, that is the way life is.

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