Fifty-three diabetic patients with mild hypertension were allocated to a treatment diet with a high fibre, low fat and low sodium dietary regime or a control diet. After a 1-month treatment period, the modified-diet treated group (n = 35) showed a highly significant reduction in mean diastolic blood pressure (P less than 0.001) accompanied by significant reduction in urinary sodium excretion (P less than 0.01). The mean values of diastolic pressure (P less than 0.05) and urinary sodium/potassium ratio (P less than 0.01) were also significantly reduced at 1 month compared to control. White (n = 16) and West Indian (n = 10) diabetic hypertensive patients demonstrated a similar significant hypotensive response (P less than 0.05 and less than 0.01 respectively) with reduction in urinary sodium excretion to the modified diet. In contrast, Asian patients demonstrated no significant changes. Treatment of hypertension in diabetic subjects with a high fibre, low fat and low sodium dietary regimen may have a hypotensive response after a period of 1 month and there is a similar response in both black and white ethnic groups. Further observation of these patients will determine long-term response and compliance.
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