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These lifestyle changes may help get you off of Blood Pressure meds

By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 15, Sep 2018, 14:11 pm IST | UPDATED: 16, Sep 2018, 17:04 pm IST

These lifestyle changes may help get you off of Blood Pressure meds

New Delhi: presented at the American Heart Association’s annual Joint Hypertension Scientific Sessions highlights just how important lifestyle changes are for improving heart health - and how impressive the results can be. 

Researchers studied 129 overweight or obese men and women to see how diet alone or combined with exercise and weight management would affect blood pressure compared with a control group over 16 weeks. More than half of those enrolled in the trial were candidates for antihypertensive medication, although none were prescribed it at the time.

Participants were between the ages of 40 and 80 and had blood pressure readings between 130–160/80–99 mm Hg. 

The group that changed their diet (using the dash eating plan) along with nutrition counseling and exercise lost an average of 19 pounds and reduced their blood pressure by 16 mm Hg systolic and 10 mm Hg diastolic. Those who just changed their diet saw a decrease of about 11 mm Hg systolic and 8 mm Hg diastolic .

To put that in perspective, by the end of the study only 15 percent of individuals who changed their diet and undertook counseling and exercise still needed medication, compared with 23 percent of those who just changed their diet.

Nearly 50 percent of those in the control group still met criteria for blood pressure medication.

“The bottom line was that adopting these lifestyle measures really resulted in most folks not needing blood pressure medicines anymore,” said Dr. Alan Hinderliter, an associate professor of medicine at University of North Carolina and a co-author of the research study.

Under the new guidelines, high blood pressure is defined as 130/80 mm Hg, down from 140/90. A reading of 120–129 systolic, a previously healthy range, is now considered elevated.

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