Weight Loss Reduces Blood Pressure

Published Online: Saturday, November 1, 2003

    There is news for hypertensive overweight individuals who are not being treated with drugs: The results of a 4-year study published recently in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that longterm weight loss brings a sustained reduction in blood pressure.

    For the study, the researchers looked at the effects of weight changes on blood pressure in 181 overweight hypertensive individuals. Prior to the study, the participants had never received antihypertensive medications, and they remained untreated over the study?s duration. In the group as a whole, body weight did not change much during the study, but average blood pressure increased slightly. Individual blood pressure varied directly with changes in body weight. Changes in body weight also paralleled changes in the size of the left-side chambers of the heart. For the participants in this study, heart size decreased in those who lost weight and increased in those whose weight remained unchanged or increased.

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