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J Hum Hypertens. 1996 Feb;10 Suppl 1:S57-61.

Adherence to and population impact of non-pharmacological and pharmacological antihypertensive therapy.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Efforts in Finland to implement the recommended non-pharmacological and pharmacological principles for the control of hypertension, stroke and ischaemic heart disease have been accompanied by an approximately 10 mm Hg fall in the population average of diastolic blood pressure, and about 60% decrease in deaths from both stroke and ischaemic heart disease among 30-59-year-old men and women from 1972 to 1992. Adherence to antihypertensive drug therapy has been quite good. However, the drug treatment does not seem to account for more than 5-6% of the observed fall of blood pressure, and 10-15% of the decrease in deaths from strokes and ischaemic heart disease. There has been no overall adherence to several non-pharmacological recommendations, and marked increases in the intake of alcohol, obesity among men, and smoking among women have been observed. However, the population adherence to recommendations to decrease the intakes of sodium and saturated fats, and to reduce the sodium-to-potassium ratio and the saturated-to-unsaturated fat ratio, has been good. These dietary changes appear to account for a major part of the fall of blood pressure and the decrease in the cardiovascular diseases. Currently a rapid further population-wide decrease in the dietary sodium-to-potassium ratio is taking place, due to a decrease in the use of salt and replacement of common salt by a novel sodium-reduced, potassium-, magnesium-, and l-lysine HCI-enriched salt, both in home kitchens and in the food industry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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