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Elderly with high blood pressure less likely to get lifestyle modification advice from doctors
Date:11/2/2007

CHAPEL HILL People older than 60 with high blood pressure are less likely than other groups of patients to receive advice from their doctors about lifestyle modifications that can help lower their blood pressure, a study by UNC researchers concludes.

In addition, hypertension (high blood pressure) patients who are not taking antihypertensive medication and patients who are not overweight or obese are less likely to receive lifestyle modification advice than groups such as hypertension patients aged 18 to 39, those who are overweight or obese and those taking antihypertensive medication, said Anthony J. Viera, M.D., M.P.H., the studys lead author.

Our study found that most people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure say they remember receiving at least some advice from their doctors about lifestyle modifications such as eating healthier, exercising more and reducing both salt and alcohol intake that can help lower their blood pressure, Viera said.

However, the most important finding of the study is who is not getting that advice, Viera said. Lifestyle modification advice should always be the doctors first step in treating a patient with high blood pressure, and this advice should not be abandoned at any point, in any group of hypertension patients.

The study is published in the November 2007 issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. Viera, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine, was the principal investigator. His UNC co-authors are Abhijit V. Kshirsagar, M.D., M.P.H., and Alan L. Hinderliter, M.D.

For their study, Viera and colleagues analyzed data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a national survey of 28,457 adults with high blood pressure. They found that 90.3 percent of those surveyed reported receiving some type of lifestyle modification advice from their doctors. Of these, 74.6 percent reported receiving exercise advice, 69.3 percent were to
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Contact: Stephanie Crayton
scrayton@unch.unc.edu
919-966-2860
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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