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Four years ago researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) initiated the Trial of Non-pharmacologic Interventions in the Elderly (TONE). Involving more than 22,000 people, TONE had as its goal determining whether weight loss, reduced sodium intake, or both could help seniors maintain normal blood pressure without medication.
Recently, the researchers followed up. The results, published in the August 2002 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, were as follows: 23% of the weight-loss/sodium-reduction group did not need hypertension medicine, compared with 17% in the weight-reduction-only group and 15% in the sodium-reduction-only group.