Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


The association of obesity and hypertension has been clearly established. Despite evidence that weight loss reduces blood pressure, this aspect of treatment is often not stressed. We studied the effects of nutritional intervention in a group of inner-city, predominantly black, hypertensive patients to determine resultant blood pressure changes. Weight reduction was achieved by 57% of the patients, with a loss of more than 4.5 kg (10 lb) in 18%. Changes in weight were highly correlated with blood pressure changes. Correlations were greater for systolic than diastolic pressures, for pressure measured in the standing than the supine position, and for men than for women. A weight loss of over 4.5 kg was associated with significant blood pressure reduction in all patients. We conclude that weight reduction is feasible in more than half of this population and that weight loss is associated with significant reduction in blood pressure.