CBPR, DASH, hypertension, Korean American



  1. Kim, Hyerang PhD
  2. Song, Hee-Jung PhD
  3. Han, Hae-Ra PhD, RN, FAAN
  4. Kim, Kim B. PhD
  5. Kim, Miyong T. PhD, RN, FAAN


Background: Lifestyle modification strategies such as adoption of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet are now recognized as an integral part of high blood pressure (HBP) management. Although the high prevalence of HBP among Korean Americans (KAs) is well documented, few dietary interventions have been implemented in this population, in part because of a lack of culturally relevant nutrition education guidelines. Translating and testing the efficacy of culturally relevant dietary recommendations using a well-established dietary guideline such as DASH are imperative for promoting better cardiovascular health for this high-risk cultural group.


Objective: The aims of this study were to systematically translate and validate a culturally modified DASH for Koreans (K-DASH) and obtain preliminary evidence of efficacy.


Methods: A 2-step approach of intervention translation and efficacy testing, together with close adherence to principles of community-based participatory research, was used to maximize community input. A 1-group pre-post design with 24-hour urine and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring comparisons was used to test the initial feasibility and efficacy of the K-DASH intervention.


Results: A total of 28 KAs with HBP participated in a 10-week dietary intervention consisting of group education sessions and individual counseling. Both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, as measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, were significantly decreased at postintervention evaluation (systolic blood pressure, -4.5 mm Hg; diastolic blood pressure, -2.6 mm Hg; P < .05). Serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was significantly decreased (-7.3 mg/dL; P < .05). Serum potassium and ascorbic acid levels were also improved in the reference range. Urine potassium level was significantly increased, supporting increased fruit and vegetable consumption.


Conclusion: This pilot study has (a) demonstrated that a cultural adaptation of DASH using community-based participatory research methodology produced a culturally relevant and efficacious dietary intervention for the KAs with HBP and (b) provided strong preliminary evidence for the efficacy of the K-DASH intervention in reducing HBP in hypertensive KAs.