Lifestyle Modifications for Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension

Norman M. Kaplan, MD

Disclosures
In This Article

Introduction

Modifications of lifestyle are often critically important to adequately control existing hypertension. The elevated blood pressure (BP) of patients who are gaining weight, performing little physical activity, smoking and drinking alcohol in excess may be impossible to control despite progressively increasing doses of multiple medications.

Modification of lifestyle are even more important to a much larger population of patients, those who are genetically predisposed to develop hypertension if exposed to adverse environmental factors. As a consequence of the rapid growth of these environmental factors -- including obesity, physical inactivity, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and too much dietary sodium plus too little dietary potassium -- the incidence of hypertension continues to increase. Obviously, everyone would benefit from the prevention of hypertension, a far more effective way to reduce the personal and societal burdens of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than the treatment of the established disease.

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