According to a study in the European Heart Journal and the press release it presents, people with high blood pressure who take antihypertensive medication before going to bed seem to have better blood pressure control and therefore a lower risk of death or heart disease than people who take the medication in the morning.
Researchers analyzed data from 19,084 patients who had to take a pill to treat high blood pressure in the morning or before bed. These people were followed for an average of six years and their blood pressure checked at least once a year. Researchers found that patients who took medication before bed showed a risk of almost half (45%) of death or heart attack, stroke, heart failure or disease requiring a procedure to unblock narrow blood vessels (coronary revascularization) compared to patients who took pills after waking. The researchers also looked at a number of other factors such as gender, age and the presence of other diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and cholesterol.
According to Ramón C. Hermida, director of the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Vigo and one of the authors of the study, does not currently mention the preferred time of day for taking antihypertensive drugs in the guidelines. Sometimes doctors advise taking the medication in the morning, but the researcher believes it would be a recommendation based on a misleading objective, namely lowering the typical morning blood pressure.
However, the researchers behind this study believe that a person’s average systolic blood pressure during sleep is the most important and independent indicator of cardiovascular risk. Moreover, according to the researchers behind this study, there are no studies that would show that treating high blood pressure in the morning reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“The results of this study show that patients who usually take their antihypertensive medication at bedtime, as opposed to waking up, have better blood pressure and, above all, a significantly lower risk of death or heart disease and vascular problems,” the researchers report.
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