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Lifestyle changes may not be enough

People who say they are making lifestyle changes as well as taking drugs to reduce high blood pressure, may be less likely to have their blood pressure under control than people relying on drugs alone.

The researchers say that changing lifestyle habits to reduce blood pressure is hard to do and not always successful.

The lifestyle changes study

Researchers from The University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada surveyed a representative sample of 2,551 Ontario residents aged 20 to 79 years old.

About 1 in every 5 had hypertension. Of the group;

  • 41% were taking drugs only, and
  • 42% were making lifestyle changes in addition to taking medications.

Of those who reported changing their habits: 86% said they were eating differently, 60% were exercising more, and 13% were using other non drug approaches.

The investigators found only 78% of those using drugs and lifestyle changes had their blood pressure under control, compared to 85% who took drugs alone.

What they researchers said …

Lead researcher Dr Fodor said, “Whether we like it or not, the only thing which we can definitely offer which really works is drug treatment. I don’t like it and most people don’t like it, but this is the simple truth.”

The researchers wrote in their abstract, “Lifestyle measures in addition to medication use did not result in better control of hypertension compared to only medication use.”

The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

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She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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