Dietary Influences on Blood Pressure: The Effect of the Mediterranean Diet on the Prevalence of Hypertension Academic Article uri icon


  • Hypertension has long been recognized as a major risk factor for several common cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization reports that the number of people with hypertension worldwide is estimated at 600 million, while 3 million will die annually as a result of hypertension. There is evidence to support that several factors related to lifestyle habits may influence blood pressure levels. Among these, the beneficial effect of diet on human health, as well as on the control of hypertension, has been underlined in several studies. Moreover, adherence to a Mediterranean diet has been associated with reduced all-cause mortality and, especially, coronary heart disease. The effect of this traditional diet on blood pressure levels has not been well understood and appreciated. This review summarizes the current understanding of the dietary influences on blood pressure control and the findings of observational and clinical studies that have evaluated the effect of the Mediterranean dietary pattern on the prevalence of chronic essential hypertension.

publication date

  • March 2005