Just In

May 2015 Issue

Diet, Exercise May be More Effective than Meds for BP

Lifestyle approaches, such as reducing salt intake and saturated fat consumption, and increasing physical activity may be more effective than taking blood pressure-lowering medication, according to researchers from the University of Liverpool. Using a mathematical model to assess the role medication played in the large decline of deaths (34 percent) from coronary heart disease among the English population during 2000-2007, the scientists found that blood pressure reduction made the largest contribution (13,000 deaths prevented), but only 1,800 of those prevented deaths were attributed to medications—11,200 were related to population-wide changes in lifestyle. However, out of 7,400 deaths prevented through reductions in blood cholesterol, approximately 5,300 were attributed to statins (cholesterol-lowering medications), and 2,100 to lifestyle changes. The analysis suggests the importance of using preventive health measures to reduce mortality risk associated with deaths from heart disease.  
(BMJ Open, January 2015)