(HealthDay News) — For patients with resistant hypertension, a 4-month structured program of diet and exercise results in significant reductions in clinic and ambulatory blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online in Circulation.
James A. Blumenthal, PhD, from the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues randomly assigned 140 patients with resistant hypertension to a 4-month program of lifestyle modification, including dietary counseling, behavioral weight management, and exercise (Center-Based Lifestyle Intervention [C-LIFE]) or a single counseling session providing Standardized Education and Physician Advice (SEPA). Clinic systolic BP was measured as the primary end point.
The researchers found that compared with SEPA, the reduction in clinic systolic BP was greater in C-LIFE (−12.5 vs −7.1 mm Hg); there was also a reduction in 24-hour ambulatory systolic BP compared with no change in SEPA (−7.0 vs −0.3 mm Hg). C-LIFE resulted in greater improvements in resting baroreflex sensitivity (2.3 vs −1.1 ms/mm Hg), high-frequency heart rate variability (0.4 vs −0.2 Ln ms2), and flow-mediated dilation (0.3 vs −1.4%) compared with SEPA. The investigators noted that pulse wave velocity and left ventricular mass were not different between the groups.
“While some people can make lifestyle changes on their own, a structured program of supervised exercise and dietary modifications conducted by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals in cardiac rehabilitation programs is likely more effective,” Blumenthal said in a statement.