High Blood Pressure Treatment (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- Find a local Internist in your town
Coffee and caffeinated beverages
In one study, the caffeine consumed in 5 cups of coffee daily caused a mild increase in blood pressure in elderly people who already had hypertension, but not in those who had normal blood pressures. The combination of smoking and drinking coffee in persons with high blood pressure may increase the blood pressure more than coffee alone. Limiting caffeine intake and cigarette smoking in hypertensive individuals may be of some benefit in controlling high blood pressure.
The American Heart Association states that there is no consistent evidence that daily consumption of 1 to 2 cups of coffee (or its equivalent) increases blood pressure to any significant degree in people who do not already have high blood pressure.
However, a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005 found that while coffee consumption was not associated with an increased risk of hypertension, consumption of sugared or diet cola did cause modest increases in blood pressure, though no recommendations on cola consumption were made.
Energy drinks often contain high levels of caffeine. The American Heart Association points to research which suggests people with high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid energy drinks because they could affect their blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recommends that consumption of dietary salt be less than 6 grams of salt per day in the general population and less than 4 grams for people with hypertension. To achieve a diet containing less than 4 grams of salt, salt is not added to food or when cooking. The amount of natural salt in the diet can be reasonably estimated from the labeling information provided with most purchased foods. Note: Some salt substitutes contain sodium, the substance in salt that increases blood pressure!
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