Making Multiple Lifestyle Changes Beneficial in Lowering High Blood Pressure
Men and women with elevated blood pressure who make healthy lifestyle changes, and sustain them for up to 18 months, can substantially reduce their rates of high blood pressure and potentially decrease their risk of heart disease.
Schmalfeldt: Men and women with elevated blood pressure who make healthy lifestyle changes, and sustain them for up to 18 months, can substantially reduce their rates of high blood pressure and potentially decrease their risk of heart disease. That's the result of a study conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, in which those participating saw their rate of high blood pressure fall from 37 to 22 percent. Dr. Eva Obarzanek is a research nutritionist and study co-author.
Obarzanek: This was a program of recommendation that have been given to people for a long time now, and it included reducing the sodium intake, increasing regular physical activity, losing weight if overweight and limiting alcohol. In addition, one of the groups of people also received counseling on following the DASH diet, which is a diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy, and includes whole grains. And that DASH diet has been previously shown to lower blood pressure. So the people were counseled and attended group sessions and had individual counseling sessions to be able to follow all these recommendations.
Schmalfeldt: The DASH diet is the program called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It's used as an example of a healthy eating plan by the U. S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and has been shown to lower blood pressure in previous NHLBI studies. The results of the study appear in the April 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. From the National Institutes of Health, I'm Bill Schmalfeldt in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Bill Schmalfeldt
Sound Bite: Dr. Eva Obarzanek