The University of Pavia's Roberto Fogari, MD, and colleagues asked 220 overweight (but not obese) men and women with stage 1 hypertension to lose at least 5% of their body weight in 6 months.
People with stage 1 hypertension have blood pressure that ranges from 140-159 for systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading) and 90-99 for diastolic blood pressure (the second number in a blood pressure reading).
Normal blood pressure is systolic blood pressure of less than 120 and diastolic blood pressure of less than 80.
By 6 months, 59% of the women and 53% of the men in the study had met the weight loss goal of shedding at least 5% of their body weight.
A little more than half (52%) of those who met the weight loss goal also got their blood pressure down into the normal range, Fogari tells WebMD.
The bottom line: It didn't take a whole lot of weight loss to curb high blood pressure.
Roughly a third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure and many of them don't know it, according to the American Heart Association. Don't know your blood pressure? A simple test can tell you where you stand.