Korean J Community Nutr.  2008 Oct;13(5):640-652.

The Effects of a Nutrition Education Program for Hypertensive Female Elderly at the Public Health Center

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, The University of Suwon, Hwaseong, Korea. ksyim@suwon.ac.kr


Hypertension is among the most common and important risk factors for stroke, heart attack, and heart failure which is considered to be the leading cause of death in Korea. The prevalence rate of hypertension in Korea is 27.9%, according to the 2006 Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey. Since non-pharmacologic nutrition education is recommended as the first step in the management of hypertension, evaluation of nutrition program is needed to form strategies for improving patients' dietary adherence. This study was designed to evaluate the overall effectiveness of a hypertension nutrition education program (HNEP) for reducing the salt intake, at a public health center located in Gyunggi-province. The HNEP was offered for 16 weeks from May to September in 2007. Nutrition education activities included cooking classes, food preparation demonstrations, physical fitness programs, salty taste preference test sessions, games, case-study presentations, planning and evaluation of menus, etc. Forty patients participated fully in the program which had 47 female enrollees. Data about nutrient intake (24-hour recall), nutrition knowledge, food behavior were collected before (baseline) and after the program. Changes after program completion indicated the following: 1) diastolic blood pressure was decreased (p < 0.05), 2) sodium (salt) intake was also decreased (p < 0.01), especially baseline high salt intake group, 3) nutrition knowledge was improved (p<0.001), 4) dietary behaviors for maintaining a low salt diet was improved (p < 0.001), 5) participants preferred cooking class from nutrition education methods. As a conclusion, it appears that a nutrition education program for hypertensive female elderly for reducing the salt intake might effectively decrease blood pressure and salt intake. It also improves nutrition knowledge, dietary behavior, and finally adherence to a recommendable low-sodium diet.


hypertension; elderly; nutrition education; salt; sodium
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