Effects of Lifestyle Interventions for Arterial Hypertension in Primary Care: A Systematic Review

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Background: The proportion of adults suffering from hypertension worldwide was estimated at 31.1 % in 2010. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of lifestyle changes in patients with arterial hypertension (AH) in primary care. Material and methods: Systematic literature search in the online databases PubMed, Embase, Cochrane and Opengrey. Only randomized controlled trials of the years 2005 to 2017 in German or English were considered. Results: 11 studies out of 458 identified references were evaluated. The patient groups investigated were very heterogeneous and underwent different types of intervention. Educating patients about the clinical picture, regular self-measurements of blood pressure, or patient memories of maintaining a healthy lifestyle have been used most frequently. Conclusion: There is a need for further studies focusing on primary care. However, many lifestyle interventions seem to show very good effects in patients with pre-existing AH (secondary prophylaxis), so these measures should form the basis of antihypertensive therapy in all patients with AH. In addition, it is important to maintain advice on a healthy lifestyle during drug therapy.