Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension: a summary of study results. DASH Collaborative Research Group

J Am Diet Assoc. 1999 Aug;99(8 Suppl):S35-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8223(99)00414-9.


The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension multicenter trial examined the impact of dietary patterns on blood pressure in 459 adults with blood pressure < 160 mm Hg systolic and 80 to 95 mm Hg diastolic. After a 3-week run-in period on a control diet low in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, and with a fat content typical for Americans, participants were randomized for 8 weeks to either the control diet, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, or a combination diet that emphasized fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Body weight and sodium intake were held constant, and physical activity did not change during the intervention. Baseline mean +/- standard deviation systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 131.3 +/- 10.8 mm Hg and 84.7 +/- 4.7 mm Hg, respectively. Relative to the control diet, the combination diet reduced blood pressure by 5.5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3.0 mm Hg (P < .001). For those on the fruits and vegetables diet, blood pressure reductions relative to control were 2.8 mm Hg systolic (P < .001) and 1.1 mm Hg diastolic (P < .07). In 133 participants with hypertension, the combination diet produced a net blood pressure reduction of 11.4 and 5.5 mm Hg systolic and diastolic, respectively (P < .001). In participants without hypertension (n = 326), the corresponding blood pressure reductions were 3.5 mm Hg systolic (P < .001) and 2.1 mm Hg diastolic (P < .003). In other subgroup analyses, minorities showed relatively larger reductions in blood pressure than nonminorities (P < .001). We conclude that the dietary pattern reflected in the combination diet can substantially reduce blood pressure, and, accordingly, provides an additional lifestyle approach to preventing and treating hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*