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Cardiorenal Med. 2013 Apr;3(1):17-25. doi: 10.1159/000347048. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

Intentional weight loss and dose reductions of antihypertensive medications: a retrospective cohort study.

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Department of Epidemiology, Behavior and Society, Baltimore, Md., USA ; The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, Scranton, Pa., USA.



Though it is well known that weight loss tends to decrease blood pressure, the quantitative association between the magnitude of weight loss and the effect on the need for antihypertensive medications is not well studied. We analyzed this association among overweight and obese attendees at two outpatient weight management centers.


Case records of patients with a body mass index >25 at baseline were analyzed. The weight loss intervention consisted of a calorie-restricted diet (~1,000 kcal/day deficit), a behavior modification plan, and a plan for increasing physical activity.


The study cohort consisted of 100 participants, and the mean follow-up period was 15 ± 3.5 months. Significant weight loss (12.2 ± 3.4 kg) and systolic/diastolic blood pressure reductions (9.1/6.3 mm Hg) were observed by study exit. For 5, 10, and 15% weight loss, respectively, 3, 39, and 39% of the patients achieved at least 1 discontinuation of any antihypertensive medication, and 8, 42, and 21 dose reductions were achieved. Dose reductions or discontinuations occurred in all classes of antihypertensive medications with similar magnitudes of weight loss.


Intentional weight loss can potentially result in dose reductions/discontinuations of antihypertensive medications. Our results should be validated with data from larger randomized controlled studies and may help to inform the conduct of a systematic review of prior randomized controlled trials that contain data on medication changes accompanying weight loss.


Antihypertensive agents; Blood pressure; Hypertension; Obesity; Weight loss

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