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Blood Pressure Meds at Bed Time Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Taking blood pressure (


Researchers at University of Vigo in Spain have found that taking blood pressure medicines at bed time appears to reduce risk of heart disease as well as keep blood pressure under control. They describe their research online this week in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (paid subscription required).

Hypertension affects about one-third of adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but is also a worldwide problem. Research has already shown time of day can influence the impact of blood pressure medications. In this study, Ramón Hermida and his colleagues at Vigo looked at the effects on other aspects of heart health.

The researchers studied a group of 661 patients with chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure. The team randomly assigned the patients to one of two groups: (1) where patients took all their prescribed hypertension medications first thing in the morning, and (2) patients took at least one of their blood pressure medications at bed time.

Patients were asked to wear a blood pressure monitor for 48 hours at the start of the study, and three months after any change in treatment or at least once a year. The researchers also followed up with patients after a median interval of 5.4 years.

After the follow-ups, the research team found patients who took at least one blood-pressure medication at bed time were two-thirds less likely to incur an adverse cardiovascular event than patients who took all their medications when they woke up in the morning. The cardiovascular events included conditions such as angina, heart attack, heart failure, blocked retinal or lower limb arteries, and stroke.

Patients who took at least one medication at bed time also had a lower average sleep-time blood pressure and showed better control of ambulatory blood pressure. Each 5 mm drop in the level of sleep-time systolic blood pressure — the top number in blood pressure readings — on average was associated with a 14 percent  reduction in risk for cardiovascular events over the follow-up period.

Read more: Heart Disease Treatment Cost Expected to Triple by 2030

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