Dietary sodium reduction for hypertension prevention and treatment.
Nutritional-nonpharmacological approaches for the treatment and prevention of hypertension are of great interest. Sodium reduction is one of the primary methods recommended for these purposes. The general public is interested in the reduction of dietary sodium intake and has responded with a decrease in table salt use, the purchase of lowered sodium food products, and the use of food labels to help guide food purchases. Countervailing trends in the use of convenience foods and dining out increase the difficulty for individuals to lower sodium intake. Clinical trials that have used sodium reduction alone or in combination with other lifestyle therapies have demonstrated the feasibility of reducing dietary sodium intake from 30% to 50% for up to 4 years, in a variety of populations. Trials that used lifestyle and weight loss interventions have also achieved significant reductions in body weight and alcohol consumption and increases in physical activity. A variety of studies indicate that long-term sodium reduction is feasible and that it is acceptable to patients. No negative consequences of these interventions have been observed, and in some cases improvement in the intake of other nutrients has occurred. Nonpharmacological interventions have resulted in hypertension control in significant proportions of the trial populations. These studies demonstrate that the foregoing types of interventions can significantly contribute to hypertension treatment and prevention.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association