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Weight-Loss Interventions Benefit Hypertensive Patients

Weight-loss diet or orlistat, but not sibutramine, linked to significant reductions in blood pressure

MONDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hypertension, a weight-loss diet or treatment with orlistat can significantly reduce both body weight and blood pressure, according to an article published in the March 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Karl Horvath, M.D., of the Medical University of Graz in Graz, Austria, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies involving 1,632 patients that compared a weight-loss diet versus usual care, four studies involving 3,132 patients that compared orlistat versus placebo, and four studies involving 610 patients that compared sibutramine with placebo.

The researchers found that patients assigned to a weight-loss diet, orlistat or sibutramine experienced more significant reductions in body weight than those assigned to usual care or placebo. They also found that those assigned to a weight-loss diet had significantly reduced blood pressure (weighted mean difference [WMD]: -6.3 mm Hg for systolic BP and -3.4 mm Hg for diastolic BP) and that those assigned to orlistat also had reduced blood pressure (WMD: -2.5 mm Hg for systolic BP and -2 mm Hg for diastolic BP). But they found that patients assigned to sibutramine had increased systolic blood pressure (WMD: 3.2 mm Hg).

"A reduction in body weight of approximately 4 kilograms was necessary to achieve a reduction of approximately 6 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure with dietary treatment and of approximately 2.5 mm Hg with orlistat," the authors conclude. "Although sibutramine treatment reduced body weight it did not lower or might even elevate blood pressure."

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