Heart Disease and Hypertension

Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for heightened vascular disease, wherein it is a modifiable risk factor that could lead to several complications like coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease (Humana.com).

It is modifiable by diet because the treatment is based on the “stepped care” model, wherein the patient’s severity of lipid elevations and risk factors are determined, then beginning treatment with diet to be able to achieve their lipid level goals.

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The first step is to provide necessary information regarding the dietary modification, nature of physical activity and the lowering of risk factors. The diet should be composed of =<30% fat, <8-10% saturated fat, <300 mg/d cholesterol, while on step two, should consist of =<30% fat, <7% saturated fat, <200 mg/d cholesterol.

If there is a high triglyceride level, then the case would require fibrates to attain certain beneficial effects which are difficult with only diet modification. This is when the hyperlipidemia not solved by diet modification. Drug therapy is a possible option especially for the patients who fail the maximal diet therapy.

Type II Diabetes Mellitus is modifiable by diet since a low-fiber diet with a high glycemic index often increases the likelihood of diabetes, and another one is that specific dietary fatty acids could possibly affect insulin resistance in the body, thus increasing the possibility of diabetes (School of Health Professions).

An effective way to modify hyperglycemia is to have an organized meal plan, wherein meals and snacks are spaced 6 hours apart, and 2 hours between meals and snacks at the least.

Excess body fat is a significant determinant when it comes to type 2 diabetes, thus making obesity a risk factor. But however, the combination of proper diet, moderate exercise, and reduction of smoking can help in doing away with type 2 diabetes.

Hyperhomocysteinemia is a condition of the person’s body with an abnormally high homocysteine level in the blood. Diet can affect the levels of homocysteine in the blood because there are certain vitamins that regulate it.

These vitamins found in healthy food include folic acid, pyridoxine or B12, wherein if the body lacks enough of these vitamins, there will be high homocysteine levels. So eating the right foods can regulate this problem.

Elevated lipoprotein (a) is a major cause or risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Lipoprotein (a) is a Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particle which is attached to apo (a) which is a special type of protein. It is genetically inherited, and the elevated levels of Lipoprotein (a) would lead to having atherosclerosis and heart attacks (Lam).

Hypertension is both modifiable and non-modifiable because it has two classifications: the first one is essential or primary, and the second one is secondary (Medicine.Net Inc.). Essential hypertension has no certain medical cause that would be able to justify or explain a patient’s condition, while secondary hypertension shows that the increase in blood pressure is caused by another condition like kidney disease and more.

Part II

The problem in this study was how to stop hypertension through dietary approaches by knowing the effects of different dietary patterns on the blood pressure on adults. What is known about this study is that obesity, sodium intake, and alcohol consumption can affect or influence the blood pressure.

The researchers did this study to find out the effects of the patterns on a person’s blood pressure, and use the information to help stop hypertension.

The subjects studied were 459 adults with systolic blood pressures of less than 160 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressures of 80 to 95 mm Hg.

The study was done by three weeks of continuous feeding of the subjects with control diet that was low in fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, wherein the fat content was the same as that of a typical American diet.

They were then randomly assigned to receive for eight weeks the control diet, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, or a “combination” diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and with reduced saturated and total fat. Sodium intake and body weight were maintained at constant levels.

The findings of the study was that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure. This diet offers an additional nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension.

The limitations of this study are that there are only a limited number of combinations for the meals. Another is that the results would be different if this was tested with a greater number of subjects.

The implication of this study would be on those who are not aware of what they eat, that they are at risk of having hypertension. Having a “typical diet” doesn’t mean having a healthy diet. They should watch what they eat in order to avoid further complications.


Humana.com. “Management of Hyperlipidemia”.  2006. July 15 2007. <http://www.humana.com/providers/guidelines/hyperlip.asp>.

Lam, Michael. “Lipoprotein (a) – How to Reduce”.  2004. July 15 2007. <http://www.drlam.com/opinion/Lp(a).cfm>.

Medicine.Net Inc. “Cholesterol”.  2005. July 15 2007. <http://www.medicinenet.com/cholesterol/page10.htm>.

School of Health Professions. “Diabetes Mellitus Type 2”.  2006. July 15 2007. <http://www.vhct.org/case2600/clin_care_RCD.htm>.