Dietary Intervention for Hypertension
Compared to other races, American Indians experience a heavier burden of risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure (hypertension), Type 2 diabetes, and smoking. Medications are widely prescribed to lower blood pressure. However, adopting low-sodium, heart-healthy diets – collectively known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) – has been shown to lower blood pressure with or without medication. In addition, these evidence-based dietary approaches can be more cost-effective and sustainable than daily medication. The basic DASH diet is simple. It calls for eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while cutting back on foods high in salt. Researchers with Partnerships for Native Health recently launched a study to test the effectiveness of the DASH diet in two urban Native populations. The overall study name is Diet Intervention for Hypertension: Adaptation and Dissemination to Native Communities. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial at each urban site to compare outcomes in two different study groups.