Non-pharmacological management of hypertension

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2021 Mar 18. doi: 10.1111/jch.14236. Online ahead of print.


Hypertension is an insidious disease which predisposes to cardiovascular complications and if not treated properly can lead to various serious complications. Economic limitations, having additional benefits with few or almost no side effects have made non-pharmacological management of hypertension an attractive approach for dealing with hypertension, in developed and developing countries alike. A MEDLINE search was done for relevant references with emphasis on original studies, randomized controlled trials, and meta-analyses for this review paper. Lifestyle modifications including changes in the dietary pattern, adopting special diets with low sodium, saturated fat and high calcium, magnesium and potassium and trying the new methods like time restricted meal intake which work in tandem with the circadian rhythm are opening new vistas in the field of non-pharmacological management of hypertension. Lifestyle modifications that effectively lower blood pressure are increased physical activity, weight loss, limited alcohol consumption, relaxation techniques of Yoga, Acupuncture, Tai chi, mindfulness-based stress-reduction program, and Transcendental Meditation. Air pollution of the surrounding air is linked with poor health outcomes and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Fine particulate matter <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) is strongly associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Short-term PM exposure (hours to weeks) increases the likelihood of adverse cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure, and longer-term exposure multiplies that risk. Non-pharmacological methods should be initiated early phase of disease and should be continued with medication.

Keywords: Non-pharmacological; cardiovascular disease; diastolic blood pressure; hypertension; systolic blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Review