The effect of dietary patterns on blood pressure control in hypertensive patients: results from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial

Am J Hypertens. 2000 Sep;13(9):949-55. doi: 10.1016/s0895-7061(99)00284-8.


To determine the impact of dietary patterns on the control of hypertension we studied the subgroup of 133 participants with systolic blood pressure (BP) of 140 to 159 mm Hg and/or diastolic BP of 90 to 95 mm Hg enrolled in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study. Participants were fed a control diet for a 3-week period and were then randomized to receive for 8 weeks either the control diet; a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but otherwise similar to control; or a combination diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, including whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts, and reduced in fats, red meats, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages. Sodium intake and body weight were held constant throughout the study. The combination diet significantly reduced systolic BP (-11.4 mm Hg, P < .001) and diastolic BP (-5.5 mm Hg, P < .001). The fruits-and-vegetables diet also significantly reduced systolic BP (-7.2 mm Hg, P < .001) and diastolic BP (-2.8 mm Hg, P = .013). The combination diet produced significantly greater BP effects (P < .05) than the fruits-and-vegetables diet. Blood pressure changes were evident within 2 weeks of starting the intervention feeding. After the 8-week intervention period, 70% of participants eating the combination diet had a normal BP (systolic BP < 140 and diastolic BP < 90 mm Hg) compared with 45% on the fruits-and-vegetables diet and 23% on the control diet. In patients with hypertension, the DASH combination diet effectively lowers BP and may be useful in achieving control of Stage 1 hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Diastole
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diet therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Systole
  • Treatment Outcome