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J Hum Hypertens. 1995 May;9(5):355-62.

Effect of low energy diet and weight loss on major risk factors, central obesity and associated disturbances in patients with essential hypertension.

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  • 1Heart Research Laboratory, Medical Hospital and Research Centre, India.


Obesity, especially central, increases the risk of hypertension, hypertriglyceridaemia and diabetes to a significant extent. To determine whether dietary weight reduction can reduce blood pressure (BP) and other cardiovascular risk factors, 217 hypertensives were randomised to receive either 1600 Kcal/day diet (group A, n = 108) or the usual 2100 Kcal/day diet (group B, n = 109). Sodium intake and physical activity were kept similar in both groups. After 16 weeks of follow-up, patients in group A received significantly less energy leading to a 2.8 kg net reduction in mean weight in association with a significant net decrease in mean SBP and DBP (7.5/6.5 mm Hg) compared with nonsignificant changes in group B. There was a significant net decrease in mean total cholesterol (7.0%), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (7.9%) and triglycerides (8.0%), with a significant net increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (4.0%) in group A compared with group B. New risk factors such as glucose intolerance (8.0%) and central obesity (waist-hip girth ratio, 0.021) showed a significant net reduction compared with group B. Patients with central obesity and other associated disturbances showed maximal reduction in BP and other cardiovascular risk factors with a significantly greater increase in HDL-cholesterol. Mean doses of drugs were similar at entry to the study as well as after 16 weeks in both groups. It is possible that weight reduction due to a low caloric diet can moderate central obesity and associated disturbances in hypertensive subjects.

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