Lifestyle modifications are recommended for all patients with hypertension, including prehypertension. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study showed that 8 weeks of a diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, along with a reduction in fats, red meat, and sweets, caused an 11.4-mm Hg decrease in systolic pressure and a 5.5-mm Hg decrease in diastolic pressure. In addition, patients using the DASH diet who consumed less than 100 mmol/d of sodium had a systolic pressure 3 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure 1.6 mm Hg less than those who consumed high amounts of sodium.
Weight reduction in a patient whose weight is 10% above ideal body weight lowers blood pressure by an average of 5 to 7 mm Hg. Alcohol consumption should be limited to two drinks daily for men and one for women, because excess amounts of alcohol may contribute to hypertension and resistance to antihypertensive medications. Regular aerobic exercise also modestly decreases blood pressure. In addition, patients should be counseled about smoking cessation.
Ardavan Mashhadian D.O.
1127 Wilshire Blvd Suite 510
Los Angeles CA 90017