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Guidance on Alternative Therapies for Lowering BP

Guidance on Alternative Therapies for Lowering BP

Hypertension affects about 26% of adults worldwide and ranks as the leading chronic risk factor for mortality. The prevalence of hypertension is projected to affect more than 1.5 billion people by 2025, according to recent estimates. About half of all strokes and ischemic heart disease events are attributable to high blood pressure (BP). “An important component of preventing the adverse consequences of hypertension is to adopt lifestyle changes that reduce BP,” says Robert D. Brook, MD. “Several lifestyle approaches have been promoted in guidelines.” These include losing weight, reducing sodium and alcohol intake, adopting a Dietary Approaches to Lower Hypertension (or DASH) eating pattern, and aerobic exercise for 30 minutes on most days per week. Several scientific statements on different approaches to caring for hypertension have been released by various organizations in an effort to address the problem. To further these efforts, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a scientific statement in 2013 that provides recommendations for alternative approaches to lowering BP that go beyond medications and diet. The AHA published the statement in Hypertension. Dr. Brook, who chaired the panel that developed the AHA scientific statement, says there are few large, well-designed studies lasting longer than a few weeks that look at alternative therapies, but he adds that many patients still ask about their value. “Patients often say that they don’t like to take medications and ask about other strategies they can use to lower their BP. The goal of the AHA scientific statement was to provide direction for clinicians when these situations come up.”   Recommendation Highlights For the AHA scientific statement, an expert panel assessed three...
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