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J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Aug;99(8 Suppl):S35-9.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: a summary of study results. DASH Collaborative Research Group.

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Body Composition Department, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La. 70808, USA.


The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension multicenter trial examined the impact of dietary patterns on blood pressure in 459 adults with blood pressure < 160 mm Hg systolic and 80 to 95 mm Hg diastolic. After a 3-week run-in period on a control diet low in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, and with a fat content typical for Americans, participants were randomized for 8 weeks to either the control diet, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, or a combination diet that emphasized fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Body weight and sodium intake were held constant, and physical activity did not change during the intervention. Baseline mean +/- standard deviation systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 131.3 +/- 10.8 mm Hg and 84.7 +/- 4.7 mm Hg, respectively. Relative to the control diet, the combination diet reduced blood pressure by 5.5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3.0 mm Hg (P < .001). For those on the fruits and vegetables diet, blood pressure reductions relative to control were 2.8 mm Hg systolic (P < .001) and 1.1 mm Hg diastolic (P < .07). In 133 participants with hypertension, the combination diet produced a net blood pressure reduction of 11.4 and 5.5 mm Hg systolic and diastolic, respectively (P < .001). In participants without hypertension (n = 326), the corresponding blood pressure reductions were 3.5 mm Hg systolic (P < .001) and 2.1 mm Hg diastolic (P < .003). In other subgroup analyses, minorities showed relatively larger reductions in blood pressure than nonminorities (P < .001). We conclude that the dietary pattern reflected in the combination diet can substantially reduce blood pressure, and, accordingly, provides an additional lifestyle approach to preventing and treating hypertension.

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