Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Stage 1 Hypertension

Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Stage 1 Hypertension

Recent studies have shown that reducing systolic blood pressure to below 130 mm Hg and making lifestyle changes may prevent 26,000 heart attacks and strokes and reduce health care costs over the next 10 years.

What lifestyle changes you ask? The change in diet to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH diet which is lower in sodium and higher in potassium by eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, seafood, nuts/seeds and low non-fat dairy and decrease in saturated fats and sugars is a good idea. Prevent is the key here.

Many Americans are walking around with Stage 1 Hypertension and they don’t even know it. So controlling blood pressure to less than 130mm Hg in this population could prevent 15,000 cardiovascular disease (CVD) event prevented in men and 11,000 events in women.

Little changes can be done easily such as starting with a goal of eating 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Using the salt shaker sparingly. Increase movement during the day, even if it is only standing at your desk periodically throughout the day. Moving toward small improvements throughout your day can lead to decreasing health risk.

Another study shows that higher consumption of whole grains, fish, fiber and omega-3- polyunsaturated fatty acids reduces deaths from all causes in people with Type 2 diabetes. So eating 5 g more fiber a day was linked to a 14% reduction in all-cause mortality and 0.1g/day of omega-3-poyunnsatured fatty acids with a 13% risk reduction. This amounts to eating more fruits and vegetables, and that’s even including canned and frozen produce, and adding fish 1- 2x per week.

Source: Clinical Endocrinology News Vol 17.No 10. October 2022

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