How effective are lifestyle changes for controlling hypertension?
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Regular aerobic exercise, weight loss of 3% to 9% of body weight, reduced dietary salt, the DASH diet, and moderation of alcohol intake are all lifestyle interventions that lower blood pressure. Average blood pressure decreases range from 3 to 11 mm Hg systolic and 2.5 to 5.5 mm Hg diastolic, depending on the particular intervention (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials [RCTs]). Studies of community-based interventions advocating combinations of the above have had mixed results with less reduction in blood pressure noted than for the individual interventions described above (SOR: B, RCTs with inconsistent results).
Journal of Family Practice, 55(1) 2006: 73-74.