What lifestyle changes should we recommend for the patient with newly diagnosed hypertension?
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Hypertensive patients should reduce sodium intake (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A). The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH diet)—with salt restriction and increased fruit, vegetable, calcium, and potassium intake—reduces blood pressure and should be recommended (SOR: A). Aerobic exercise is effective in the general, as well as elderly, populations for reducing blood pressure (SOR: A). Patients should be encouraged to reduce alcohol consumption (SOR: A). Evidence that weight loss is significantly associated with blood pressure reduction is inconclusive (SOR: C). Smoking cessation should be encouraged for all hypertensive patients for prevention of cardiovascular disease (SOR: A).
Journal of Family Practice, 55(11) 2006: 991-993.