Impact of dietary and lifestyle factors on the prevalence of hypertension in Western populations

J Hum Hypertens. 2005 Dec;19 Suppl 3:S1-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1001953.

Abstract

The impact of dietary and lifestyle factors on the prevalence of hypertension was quantified for Finland, Italy, The Netherlands, UK and USA. For this purpose, we combined data of blood pressure (BP) and risk factors distributions in these five countries with BP estimates from randomized controlled trials of dietary and lifestyle factors to obtain population attributable risk percentages (PAR%) for hypertension. Overweight made a substantial contribution to hypertension (PAR%: 11-17%), as was the case for excessive sodium intake (9-17%), low potassium intake (4-17%), physical inactivity (5-13%), and low intake of fish oil (3-16%). PAR% were smaller for low calcium intake (2-8%), low magnesium intake (4-8%), excessive coffee consumption (1-9%) and excessive alcohol intake (2-3%). We conclude that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on hypertension in Western societies. The relative significance of different risk factors varies among populations, which is important for preventive strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Diet*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Life Style*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology