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J R Coll Gen Pract. 1986 Oct;36(291):445-8.

How useful is weight reduction in the management of hypertension?


A group of previously untreated obese hypertensive patients were started on a weight reduction programme supervised by two dietitians working in a general practice surgery. It was stressed from the beginning of the programme that reducing blood pressure was the purpose of the diet. The results of follow-up after six months are presented together with results for a control group of obese hypertensive patients not receiving dietary advice or drug therapy, but being followed by the general practitioner. The weight, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure of the dieting hypertensive group were significantly lower than those of the non-dieting group after six months. However, the drop-out rate was significantly higher for the dieting group than for the non-dieting group.The results of a separate comparison between a control group of obese normotensive patients following the same dietary programme and the group of dieting obese hypertensive patients are also presented. Attendance rates and weight loss achieved were significantly better for the hypertensive group than for the normotensive group after 12 months.Weight reduction appears to be an effective first-line therapy for approximately 50% of obese patients with mild to moderate hypertension, and raised blood pressure appears to provide motivation for such patients to attend a dietitian's clinic and to lose weight.

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