BACKGROUND: Hypertension, a clear risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, affects nearly one billion people worldwide. Recent statistics have reported increasing mortality due to hypertension which reveals the importance of prophylactic strategies in controlling blood pressure. Lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to prevent and control hypertension.
METHODS: This study was a comprehensive literature review performed through searches in databases such as Medline, PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, and Google Scholar using the terms "lifestyle", "hypertension", "lifestyle modification", "risk factors for hypertension", "nonpharmacologic treatment of hypertension", and "dietary and activity factors".
RESULTS: Lifestyle factors such as dietary behaviors and physical activity are associated with hypertension. Several studies have indicated direct and indirect associations between overweight and increased risk of hypertension. Increased consumption of grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk and reduced consumption of sodium, fat, and alcohol are effective in preventing and controlling hypertension. In addition, some studies have reported a 35% reduction in risk of developing hypertension among individuals who engage in regular physical activity compared to sedentary people.
CONCLUSION: Since lifestyle- and diet-related factors are often modifiable, perceptions of their effects have specific importance in hypertension prevention and treatment.