Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Richard Wilson, Thomas Nicholson, Robert Baum

Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


The prevalence of hypertension in the U.S. and similar industrialized countries continues to rise. Millions of people are affected in America alone. Usual treatment includes a low sodium diet, weight loss if needed, and drug therapy. Some health providers also encourage stress management as an adjunct to therapy. These treatments have been shown to be effective but patient compliance continues to be poor. Past research has explored the relationships between dietary calcium and hypertension and has found that there is an interaction between blood calcium levels and high blood pressure. The research reported here was a test of the relationship between dietary calcium and hypertension. Using data gathered by the U.S. Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the author compared subjects (n=3854) on the basis of daily calcium intake and blood pressure levels. Findings supported previous research: high calcium intake was associated with lower blood pressure levels. Further study is needed before definite recommendations can be made. Discussion includes the implications for therapy, compliance, and treatment success.


Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health