Effects of an Integrated System Approach on Hypertension Management in Community Dwelling Older Adults

With the aging of the population, the health status of older adults has drawn a great deal of attention from health professionals since their health and nutrition status can significantly impact the U.S. health care systems and social services. Among major chronic diseases, elevated blood pressure represents a primary risk factor for cardiovascular complications and cognitive decline, and loss of autonomy later in life. Two-thirds of older adults have hypertension, and this group has the lowest blood pressure control rate. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan has been suggested as an integral part of hypertension management. Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise and self measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) are also well-proven lifestyle modification strategies to improve heart health.

The DASH-Plus is an integrated project that aims to build a sustainable, community-based hypertension management program by combining research methodologies, an extension system, and educational activities. To achieve this goal, we develop, implement and evaluate a theory-driven, community-based hypertension self-management program. The intervention consists of DASH-plus education (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet with exercise and HTN self-care skills), produce delivery to increase accessibility, and self-measured blood pressure monitoring. Further, a culture of heath will be promoted through a peer support model. Eventually, the program will be disseminated through the
extension system.

By leveraging existing resources from the aging network, extension, produce delivery approach, and education system, the project demonstrates creative and feasible means to tackle uncontrolled blood pressure in older adults.

Funding source) USDA.AFRI Diet, Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Disease, Award No. 2021-68015-33435

I took your DASH-plus class online in July into August. I wanted to thank everyone involved. You started me on the path to healthy eating. Since August I have lost 40 pounds. I've been back in the pool doing water aerobics. My doctor stopped one of my meds, my A1C has dropped, and generally I feel so much better.

2021 Class Participant

Contact Us

Hee-Jung Song, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Extension Specialist
3301 Marie Mount Hall
Department of Nutrition and Food Science
University of Maryland College Park
TEL 301-405-8898
FAX 301-314-3313