NIH Press Release

National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute
National Institute on Aging

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1996
3:15 PM Eastern Time

NHLBI Communications Office
(301) 496-4236
Vicky Cahan
NIA Information Office
(301) 496-1752

Studies Show Lifestyle Changes Benefit Blood Pressure
Sodium Reduction/Weight Loss Cut Need for Drugs in Elderly

Findings from two National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported studies show that lifestyle changes, such as modifying one's diet and losing weight, substantially reduce blood pressure in adults and can keep older patients off antihypertensive medication. Findings from the studies are being presented at the American Heart Association scientific sessions in New Orleans, LA.

The "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension" (DASH) Trial was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Center for Research Resources, with supplemental support from the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health. The "Trial of Nonpharmacologic Interventions in the Elderly" (TONE) was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), with additional support from the NHLBI.

Dr. Thomas Moore of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, will speak about DASH at the late-breaking clinical trials session at 2:15 p.m. on November 13. Dr. Paul Whelton, director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research at The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, will present TONE's main results at 4:30 p.m. on November 11. Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Illinois at Chicago, will describe the TONE intervention 2:00 p.m. on November 13.

"With 50 million Americans having hypertension and many developing it each year, the findings of these two studies have very important public health implications," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "The results show the value of lifestyle changes in preventing and controlling this condition," he added.

The studies' results are:

Dr. Eva Obarzanek, nutritionist, and Dr. Jeffrey Cutler, director of the Clinical Applications and Prevention Program, are the NHLBI project officers for DASH and TONE, respectively. To arrange an interview with them, call the NHLBI Communications Office.

Dr. Andre Premen, director of NIA's Cardiovascular Aging Program, is the NIA Project Officer for TONE. To arrange an interview with him or for more information on hypertension and the elderly, call the NIA Information Office.