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J Hypertens Suppl. 1990 Sep;8(4):S21-6.

Non-pharmacological treatment of hypertension.

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Public Health Department, Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Israel.


Weight reduction, alcohol restriction, mild salt restriction, eating a vegetarian diet and increasing aerobic exercise will generally lower the blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Eating a diet rich in potassium and reducing caffeine intake may also be helpful in reducing the pressure, but increasing the fiber or calcium intake will generally be ineffective. Reducing fat intake from the usual 40% of total calories to 25-30% may reduce hypertension directly or by weight reduction. Smoking, when combined with excessive caffeine or alcohol intake may have an additive effect on blood pressure. Monotherapy with such behavioral techniques as self-monitoring of blood pressure, biofeedback, meditation, yoga, progressive muscular relaxation or cognitive therapy may reduce the blood pressure to a variable degree, and combinations of these treatments may be even more successful.

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