Blood pressure medications are more effective in reducing heart attacks and strokes when taken at bedtime, a recent study reports.
These statistics and data come from the Hygia Chronotherapy Trial. Hygia is the largest and longest lasting clinical trial to examine the effects of blood pressure meds timing on the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Blood Pressure Medications: Study Results
Researchers from the University of Spain’s Bioengineering Department tested close to 20,000 participants who were taking blood pressure medications. They were assigned to one of two groups.
Group 1 took their medications in the morning,
Group 2 took their medications right at bedtime.
The results showed that Group 2 who took their blood pressure pills at bedtime, had a 45% lower risk of dying from a heart attack, or heart failure.
Moreover, Group 2, by taking their blood pressure pill at bedtime, also showed significantly lower risks for:
- 66% lower death risk due to blood vessel abnormalities
- lower stroke risk by 49%
- lowered risk of heart attack by 44%
- reduced risk of heart failure by 42%
- lowered rates for widening clogged arteries by 40%
To date, just about all doctors tell their patients to take their hypertenion medications in the morning so as to reduce morning pressure levels. However, the results of the Hygia project clearly shows that a person’s cardiovascular risk idepends on their average systoloic blood pressure during sleep.
This link is independent of blood pressure readings taken during waking hours — either at home or at the doctor’s office.
Furthermore, there are no studies showing that treating hypertension in the morning improves the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Why Is Bedtime More Effective than Daytime?
That’s a very good question with no current answer. Exactly how this significant benefit happens is unclear.
Is it because overnight blood pressure is a more accurate indicator? Or, is it because the blood pressure medicine improves the quality and depth of sleep?
Right now, there are several other studies that are evaluating the timing effects of these hypertension medicines. Of great interest is whether they will confirm the results of the Hygia Project and also explain why and how it happens.