Weight loss key for treating high blood pressure

November 26, 2003 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Weight loss key for treating high blood pressure

Reducing body weight should be a "major component" in the treatment of high blood pressure, new research suggests. For every kilogram of body weight lost, blood pressure falls about one point, say researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

They analyzed data from previous studies to determine the effect of weight reduction on blood pressure. Included in the analysis were 25 trials with 4874 subjects.

Losing 5 kilograms (kg) of weight as a result of diet, exercise, or both led to a reduction in blood pressure of about four points. Subjects with an average weight loss of greater than 5 kg had much larger blood pressure reductions than subjects who lost less weight.

This degree of weight loss was tied to blood pressure reductions of five to six points. Blood pressure reductions were also larger in populations who were taking drugs that lower blood pressure.

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