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Diet Plus Weight Control Shown to Improve Cognition

And, perindopril reduces risk of major vascular events in stroke patients, regardless of BMI

THURSDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive patients who are overweight and obese, combining the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet with a weight management program may improve neurocognitive function, according to a study published online March 19 in Hypertension. Another Hypertension study, published online March 8, found that perindopril may effectively reduce the risk of major vascular events in patients of any weight category with a history of stroke.

Patrick J. Smith, of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues randomly assigned 124 overweight or obese patients to the DASH diet alone, DASH combined with a behavioral weight management program, including exercise and caloric restriction, or a usual diet. They found that DASH combined with aerobic exercise and caloric restriction was associated with the greatest improvements in neurocognitive function.

Sébastien Czernichow, M.D., of the University of Sydney in Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned 6,105 normal-weight, overweight and obese patients with a history of stroke to receive either perindopril-based blood pressure-lowering therapy or placebo. Across the entire range of body mass index, they found that perindopril was associated with comparable risk reductions for major vascular events.

"In conclusion, blood pressure-lowering therapy produced comparable risk reductions in vascular disease across the whole range of body mass index in participants with a history of stroke. However, the greater baseline level of cardiovascular risk in those with higher body mass index meant that these patients obtained the greatest benefit," Czernichow and colleagues write.

The second study was partially supported by Servier; two authors reported financial relationships with the company.

Abstract - Smith
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Abstract - Czernichow
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