Weight-Loss Strategies for Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

Michael E. Hall, Jordana B. Cohen, Jamy D. Ard, Brent M. Egan, John E. Hall, Carl J. Lavie, Jun Ma, Chiadi E. Ndumele, Philip R. Schauer, Daichi Shimbo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and renal diseases in the United States and worldwide. Obesity accounts for much of the risk for primary hypertension through several mechanisms, including neurohormonal activation, inflammation, and kidney dysfunction. As the prevalence of obesity continues to increase, hypertension and associated cardiorenal diseases will also increase unless more effective strategies to prevent and treat obesity are developed. Lifestyle modification, including diet, reduced sedentariness, and increased physical activity, is usually recommended for patients with obesity; however, the long-term success of these strategies for reducing adiposity, maintaining weight loss, and reducing blood pressure has been limited. Effective pharmacotherapeutic and procedural strategies, including metabolic surgeries, are additional options to treat obesity and prevent or attenuate obesity hypertension, target organ damage, and subsequent disease. Medications can be useful for short- and long-term obesity treatment; however, prescription of these drugs is limited. Metabolic surgery is effective for producing sustained weight loss and for treating hypertension and metabolic disorders in many patients with severe obesity. Unanswered questions remain related to the mechanisms of obesity-related diseases, long-term efficacy of different treatment and prevention strategies, and timing of these interventions to prevent obesity and hypertension-mediated target organ damage. Further investigation, including randomized controlled trials, is essential to addressing these questions, and emphasis should be placed on the prevention of obesity to reduce the burden of hypertensive cardiovascular and kidney diseases and subsequent mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E38-E50
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • blood pressure
  • metabolic surgery
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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