What are the recommendations of JNC 7 and AHA-ASA guidelines for lifestyle modification to lower blood pressure (BP) and decrease cardiovascular disease risk?

Updated: Feb 22, 2019
  • Author: Matthew R Alexander, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

JNC 7 and AHA-ASA lifestyle modification recommendations

The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee of Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) recommendations to lower blood pressure (BP) and decrease cardiovascular disease risk include the following, with greater results achieved when 2 or more lifestyle modifications are combined [5] :

  • Weight loss helps to prevent hypertension (range of approximate systolic BP reduction [SBP], 5-20 mm Hg per 10 kg); recommendations include the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet (range of approximate SBP reduction, 8-14 mm Hg), which is rich in fruits and vegetables and encourages the use of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products

  • Limit alcohol intake to no more than 1 oz (30 mL) of ethanol per day for men (ie, 24 oz [720 mL] of beer, 10 oz [300 mL] of wine, 2 oz [60 mL] of 100-proof whiskey) or 0.5 oz (15 mL) of ethanol per day for women and people of lighter weight (range of approximate SBP reduction, 2-4 mm Hg)

  • Reduce sodium intake to no more than 100 mmol/d (2.4 g sodium or 6 g sodium chloride; range of approximate SBP reduction, 2-8 mm Hg) [8]

  • Maintain adequate intake of dietary potassium (approximately 90 mmol/d)

  • Maintain adequate intake of dietary calcium and magnesium for general health

  • Stop smoking and reduce intake of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol for overall cardiovascular health

  • Engage in aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes daily for most days (range of approximate SBP reduction, 4-9 mm Hg)


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