A recent study published in the European Heart Journal on October 22, 2019 says that taking blood pressure medications may result in better benefits if they were taken at night before bedtime.
The study of 19,000 patients with high blood pressure amazingly revealed that when patients took their blood pressure meds at night, so that it worked overnight while they slept, it cut the risk of heart-related death and disease by practically in half.
When the patients took the same high blood pressure meds at different times of the day, results showed that the meds actually had different pharmacological properties, and that the meds ended up behaving like totally different medications.This was reported by Ramón Hermida, who is the director of the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Labs at the University of Vigo in Spain and who is the lead author of the study.
The participants were randomly split into two groups by Hermida and his research team. One half of the group took their blood pressure meds in the morning when they woke up. The other half took their meds just before bedtime.
The patients were tracked for six years and periodically had their blood pressure levels monitored continuously in 48-hour sections.
The results were remarkable. When they compared the two groups, the ‘night-timers’ who took their meds before bedtime, showed a 40% lower risk in experiencing heart failure, heart attacks, strokes or any need for a procedure to unclog coronary arteries.
Even more striking was their risk of dying from any heart problems during the six years of the study was cut by 66%
Dr. Luke Laffin, who is a preventive cardiologist at a Cleveland Clinic, says normally a ‘nocturnal dipping’ occurs while sleeping at night. That is, blood pressure ‘dips’ by approximately 10 to 20%. However, it doesn’t always happen in some people and for some, blood pressure increases while they sleep.
Laffin, therefore suggests that if high blood pressure medications were given at night, some of the people who don’t experience the dipping patterns, or more seriously, who experience elevated blood pressures at night, could be protected and cardiovascular disease could be deterred.
According to guidelines from the American Heart Association as well as the American College of Cardiology, any person with a blood pressure measurement over 130/80 mmHg has high blood pressure.
High blood pressure readings tend to be higher in the morning. Doctors recommend that patients with high blood pressure take readings both in the morning and evening.