Population-based and high-risk approaches are complementary and necessary in reducing cardiovascular disease. Additionally, management of CVD, particularly through management of hypertension, is an important component in a comprehensive approach addressing this problem. Hypertension is a highly prevalent risk factor for heart disease in the Americas and globally. Risk for CVD increases as blood pressure increases, and scientific evidence has shown that even a small reduction in blood pressure reduces the risk for a cardiovascular event. Therefore, individuals of all risk levels are advised to take part in healthy lifestyle modifications that result in lower blood pressure. Drug treatment may be necessary in managing cardiovascular disease, however lifestyle changes provide significant cardiovascular benefits. There are several lifestyle modifications that will help all individuals in the prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension:
- weight loss;
- cessation of tobacco use;
- increasing physical activity;
- moderation of alcohol intake;
- increasing fresh fruit and vegetable intake;
- reducing saturated fat intake;
- reducing sodium intake.