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May 30, 1977

Control of Hypertension-Reply

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1977;237(22):2378. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270490018004

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In the past, physicians have been too willing to brush off mild to moderate hypertension as "not dangerous." This has led to the enormous problem of uncontrolled hypertension. According to the Milwaukee Blood Pressure Program data on 135,000 persons screened for hypertension, for every person under the age of 50 years with adequately controlled hypertension (blood pressure 140/90 mm Hg or less), there are ten with uncontrolled hypertension.

Although obesity causes blood pressure elevation, weight loss alone generally leads to a reduction in blood pressure of only 5 to 10 mm Hg. To date, there is no evidence that only regular exercise, in absence of weight reduction, leads to blood pressure control in a hypertensive patient. Other nonpharmacologic means of blood pressure control such as yoga, transcendental meditation, relaxation response, and biofeedback are also under investigation. The blood pressure reduction is usually no more than 10 mm Hg