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Lifestyle Modifications Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure

for Health Care Providers

Lifestyle Modifications Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure

Back to Hypertension Chapter

Area to ModifyGoalsAnticipated SBP Reduction
Adapted from Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, et al. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure: the JNC 7 reportLink will take you outside the VA website.. JAMA. 2003 May 21;289(19):2560-72.
  • DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet:
    • HIGH in fruit/vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, nuts, fiber, K+, Mg+ Ca+, whole grains (risk of hyperkalemia in patients with renal disease)
    • LOW in lean red meat, sugars
  • For specific dietary recommendations, including serving sizes and ingredients, see the DHHS DASH diet guide
  • Low sodium diet: ≤2.4 g/day
8-14 mmHg
  • >30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily
    • Aerobic activity = brisk walking
4-9 mmHg
  • ≤2 alcoholic drinks/day (men) or ≤1 drink/day (women)
    • 1 drink = 0.4 oz (12 g) of ethanol: 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or 1.5 oz 80-proof (40%) liquor
  • See Alcohol Misuse
2-4 mmHg
Weight5-20 mmHg per 10 kg weight loss

From Hypertension
Primary Care of Veterans with HIV
Office of Clinical Public Health Programs
Veterans Health Administration, 2009