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Prevention of hypertension

Slama, Michel MD; Susic, Dinko MD, PhD; Frohlich, Edward D. MD


Hypertension is a major risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases including stroke, coronary heart disease, cardiac failure, and endstage renal disease. Therefore, prevention of hypertension becomes an important goal in overall efforts to control blood pressure and reduce the incidence of hypertension-related cardiovascular and renal complications and outcomes. Many risk factors underlying hypertension have been identified including nonmodifiable factors such as age, gender, genetic factors, and race, as well as modifiable factors including overweight, high sodium intake, low potassium intake, alcohol consumption, and reduced physical activity. A number of studies have demonstrated that interventions aimed at changing these modifiable factors might decrease blood pressure and even prevent the development of hypertension. Thus, present national recommendations and guidelines include lifestyle modifications ranging from weight loss in case of obesity, engagement in regular isotonic physical activity, reduced sodium diet (<100 mmol/d), supplementation of potassium, and alcohol moderation (<1 ounce of ethanol or its equivalent per day).

Hypertension Research Laboratories, Division of Research, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Correspondence to Michel Slama, MD, Division of Research, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1520 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA; E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.