Ability to safely withdraw well-controlled mild hypertensives from drugs is being tested in a three-group randomized trial. Group I (intervention) was removed from drugs after the first 2 months of nutrition counseling. Counseling is continuing through the remaining years of the trial to achieve a minimum weight loss of 10 lb if overweight, reduction of sodium intake to <1,800 mg, and reduction of alcohol intake to not more than two drinks per day. Group II (the first control group) was also removed from drugs to see if previous long-term blood pressure control had a carryover effect without dietary change. Blood pressure is monitored frequently in both groups, with return to drug treatment in the event of specified blood pressure rise. Group III (the second control group) has remained on drugs for comparison of blood pressure and biochemical variables. In Group I mean 30-month weight loss was 8 lb, with 35% losing 10+ lb; sodium intake was reduced by 38%. Blood pressure control without drugs was maintained for 47% of Group I patients but only 16% of group II patients (P < 0.05). These findings indicate it may be possible, after establishing good blood pressure control, to maintain control in a sizable proportion without medication, when reduction of weight, sodium, and alcohol intake is achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health