Korean Circ J.  2020 May;50(5):432-440. 10.4070/kcj.2019.0230.

Self-Reported Diet Management and Adherence to Dietary Guidelines in Korean Adults with Hypertension

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hckim@yuhs.ac
  • 2Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Etiology Research Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Division of Health and Nutrition Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.


Although dietary management is strongly recommended in patients with hypertension, little is known about how many manage their diet and follow the guidelines for hypertension. We investigated the prevalence of dietary management among adults with known hypertension and evaluated their compliance to the dietary guidelines.
Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2016 were used. Among 15,870 adults aged 30-79 years, 4,162 reported a physician-diagnosed hypertension. Diet management behavior was defined by self-report response. Actual dietary intake was assessed by a 24-hour dietary recall. Dietary quality was evaluated using the Korean Healthy Eating Index (KHEI).
Among adults with hypertension, 28.0% reported that they were managing their diet. Those with hypertension consumed significantly less dietary sodium (p value<0.01), but also less potassium (p value<0.01), resulting in no difference of sodium-to-potassium ratio compared to those without hypertension (p value=0.66). Among those with hypertension, diet-managing adults had better KHEI score (66.9, p value<0.01) and consumed less sodium (3,354.3 mg, p value<0.01) than not-managing adults (63.6 score and 3,554.5 mg, respectively). However, total KHEI score was rather lower in those with hypertension (p value<0.01) than those without hypertension and their sodium intake was still over the recommended amount.
More than two-thirds of Korean adults with hypertension did not manage their diet in daily life. More effective strategies are needed to increase the level of compliance with dietary recommendations for people with high blood pressure.


Hypertension; Dietary guideline; Diet therapy; Self-care

MeSH Terms

Diet Therapy
Nutrition Policy*
Nutrition Surveys
Self Care
Sodium, Dietary
Sodium, Dietary

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