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28-04-2013 | Cardiology | Article

Hypertensive patients may need firm dietary advice


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medwireNews: People who have dyslipidemia or are overweight adopt healthier diets than those without, whereas patients with hypertension persist with some unhealthy eating patterns, study results show.

"The reasons why hypertensives have a distinctive eating behaviour among cardiovascular risk patients remain unclear and need further investigation that should include the possible role of physicians," say the researchers, led by Pierre Meneton (Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France), in the Journal of Hypertension.

Their results are based on 24-hour dietary records, supplied every 2 months by 6167 French people aged between 35 and 65 years. Of these participants, 2087 had hypertension, 2675 had dyslipidemia, and 2229 were overweight. Around half of each group also had another of the disorders, and 709 participants had all three.

After accounting for the presence of the other disorders and other potential confounders, patients people with hypertension had a reduced overall energy intake (not including alcohol) than those without and ate fewer fats. However, they drank more wine and less milk, ate less yogurt and fewer fruits and vegetables, and ate more processed meats.

Meneton et al comment that this dietary pattern "includes several features that are clearly detrimental for the treatment of high blood pressure: a high consumption of wines and alcohol, a low intake of dairy products and calcium, a low intake of fruits, vegetables and potassium and a high intake of processed meats that are usually very salty."

They add: "It is certainly possible that these eating habits played some role in the development of the disorder in the first place."

By contrast, people with dyslipidemia had lower intakes of lipids, cholesterol, and saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids than people without, as well as a lower overall energy intake. This was due to their tendency to consume fewer cheeses, sweets, eggs, and fats.

Overweight people also had a lower energy intake than those who had a healthy weight, caused by them eating less bread, fewer sweets and fats, and more yogurt, meat, and poultry. After accounting for total energy intake, overweight patients also ate more vegetables than those with a healthy weight.

Among people with hypertension, dietary patterns were not influenced by whether they were taking antihypertensive drugs.

"Considering that the perception of hypertension can vary greatly among physicians, it is possible that these latter perceive hypertension differently from the two other disorders and influence their patients accordingly," observe the researchers, although they say it is not clear why this effect should be specific to hypertension.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Eleanor McDermid, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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