Fast Five Quiz: Hypertension Management

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


January 24, 2019

Up to 60% of all individuals with hypertension are more than 20% overweight. The centripetal fat distribution is associated with insulin resistance and hypertension. Even modest weight loss (5%) can lead to reduction in BP and improved insulin sensitivity. Weight reduction alone may lower blood pressure by 5-20 mm Hg in some patients.

Although the efficacy and need for sodium restriction is increasingly a matter of debate, numerous studies have documented an association between sodium chloride intake and BP. The effect of sodium chloride is particularly important in individuals who are middle-aged to elderly with a family history of hypertension. A moderate reduction in sodium chloride intake can lead to a small reduction in blood pressure. The AHA recommends that the average daily consumption of sodium chloride not exceed 6 g; this may lower BP by 2-8 mm Hg.

The DASH eating plan encompasses a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and may lower blood pressure by 8-14 mm Hg. The DASH diet is an acceptable eating pattern in patients with diabetes.

Dietary potassium, calcium, and magnesium consumption have an inverse association with BP. Lower intake of these elements potentiates the effect of sodium on BP.

Read more on nonpharmacologic management of hypertension.


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