Aim. This paper is a report of a comparison of advice on lifestyle given by healthcare providers and subsequent action by recipients between Korean Americans and native Koreans with hypertension. Background. High blood pressure is controllable by having a healthy lifestyle, such as weight control, dietary change, exercise, low-sodium diet, alcohol restriction and smoking cessation, and by taking medication. Healthcare providers play an important role in teaching individuals with hypertension on healthy lifestyles. Method. This descriptive comparative study was conducted with a convenience sample of 100 Korean Americans and 100 native Koreans with hypertension. They were interviewed between May 2003 and June 2004 on the advice they received from healthcare providers on lifestyle and their subsequent action in terms of taking medication, weight control, dietary change, exercise, low-sodium diet, smoking cessation, alcohol restriction and tension reduction. Nutrient profiles were examined using the 24-hour dietary recall method. Findings. Korean Americans received advice on lifestyle less than did native Koreans, but more Korean Americans followed healthy lifestyle advice on dietary change and exercise than did native Koreans (P<0·001). Weight control was the least adhered to behaviour among the Korean Americans, although almost two-thirds of them were overweight or obese. Both groups exceeded the Dietary Reference Intakes of sodium, but perceived their sodium consumption as low. Conclusion. Native Korean participants need to pay closer attention to carrying out the advice, whereas healthcare providers to Korean Americans need to give more advice on culturally acceptable healthy lifestyles, particularly on dietary changes and weight control. Both groups need to monitor their sodium intake more realistically. It is not only advice from healthcare providers that is integral to control of hypertension, but also that patients should follow that advice.
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