Hypertension and Diabetes: Addressing Common Comorbidities

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Patients with diabetes and elevated blood pressure (> 120/80 mm Hg, per the 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines) are at high risk for hypertension and its complications.1,4 Lifestyle management—which includes weight loss, a healthy diet, increase in physical activity, and moderation in alcohol intake—is an important component of preventing or delaying a hypertension diagnosis.1,4

Both the ADA and the ACC/AHA recommend that patients with diabetes follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.1,4 Guidelines include restricting sodium intake to < 2,300 mg/d, consuming 8-10 servings/d of fruits and vegetables and 2-3 servings/d of low-fat dairy products, limiting alcohol consumption to two servings/d for men and one serving/d for women, and increasing physical activity to include at least 30-45 min/d of aerobic exercise.1,4


Initial treatment for patients with hypertension and diabetes depends on the severity of the hypertension and should include drug classes that have demonstrated success in reducing ASCVD events: ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), thiazide-like diuretics, and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. The ADA offers additional guidance:

Blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mm Hg should be treated with lifestyle modifications and simultaneous initiation of a single drug, with timely titration of pharmacologic therapy to achieve blood pressure goals.

Continue to: Blood pressure ≥ 160/100 mm Hg

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