Taking blood pressure medication at night, instead of in the morning, can lower your risk for a heart attack, according to a recent report. High blood pressure (HBP) is one of the leading causes of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers studied more than 19,000 adults with high blood pressure over six years. They found that medication at bedtime lowered blood pressure and reduced the risk for heart attacks and stroke.
What is the reason for this dramatic effect?
Blood pressure has a daily pattern — it normally dips at night and rises in the morning. Then, by the afternoon, it starts to go down again. This natural rhythm helps to explain why taking medicine to lower blood pressure may work best when done at night.
Taking Blood Pressure: Why Night Time Meds Work
Study participants who took all of their blood pressure pills at night lowered their risk for heart attack by 34 percent. And, risk for stroke decreased by 49 percent and heart failure by 42 percent.
Overall, the risk of death from heart or blood vessel problems was cut by more than 50 percent for the people who took their pills at night.
Allen Taylor, professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, said the study “is almost too good to be true in terms of the size of the benefit.” He wants to see further confirmation before switching all of his patients’ medication schedules from morning to evening.
If you’re already taking your blood pressure pills at night, Taylor said there’s no reason to stop. He recommends that if you decide to switch from the morning to the evening, talk to your doctor first. Communication with your doctor is very important. Let him/her know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.