Intensive Efforts to Lower Blood Pressure Cuts Heart Disease Risk

What’s your blood pressure? It’s a question a doctor or nurse asks you every time you show up for an appointment, especially if you have renal disease.

High blood pressure is common for people with renal disease, and it raises the risk for heart-related problems. For a long time, health professionals recommended renal patients get their systolic (top number) blood pressure down to 130 to 140 mm Hg.

But it may be time to adopt more intensive efforts to control blood pressure and prevent heart disease in renal patients, according to a recent study.

Researchers monitored blood pressure and heart disease risk for about 2,600 patients with renal disease over a three year period.One group followed standard treatment practices to control blood pressure. Another group followed a more intensive plan to control blood pressure.

Within the first two years of the study, the results were significant. Renal patients in the intensive group to lower blood pressure cut their risk for heart disease by 19 percent.

If the same practices were applied to everyone with high blood pressure, it could prevent an estimated 100,000 deaths per year in the United States alone, according to the Loyola University Medical Center research team. Ways to Lower Blood Pressure When you have renal disease, your doctor should talk to you about ways to control your blood pressure. Medication can help, but there are other ways to control blood pressure such as:

  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day
  • Limit the amount of sodium you consume
  • Avoid or limit alcohol
  • Don’t smoke, or quit if you do
  • Avoid or limit caffeine
  • Manage stress in healthy ways
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly
  • Make smart food choices

When you have renal disease, your diet plays a big part in supporting the remaining kidney function you have left. It’s best to limit sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and protein.

So what can you eat? Take a look at our Renal-Friendly menu, and you’ll find plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to choose from. Pick your favorites. Place an order. And you can have your next blood-pressure-friendly meal ready in minutes.