Blood pressure control during sleep “is the most relevant independent marker of cardiovascular risk,” and in this trial it was linked to a drastic reduction of adverse cardiovascular events.
If you take medication(s) to lower your blood pressure – about 1 in 3 US adults has high blood pressure and two-thirds of them take meds – consider that patients in this large tracking study cut their risk of a stroke or heart attack by two-thirds, simply by taking at least one of their meds at bedtime rather than in the morning.
The study – “Bedtime Dosing of Antihypertensive Medications Reduces Cardiovascular Risk in CKD” – was published online Oct 24 by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Ramon Hermida, PhD, and his team at the University of Vigo, in Spain, knew that the time of day patients take blood pressure-lowering medications can affect their blood pressure patterns. But to find out if medication timing might make any difference to health, they recruited a group of 661 patients who had chronic kidney disease and hypertension.
Half of the patients took all prescribed blood pressure-lowering medications first thing in the morning and half took at least one of them at bedtime.
After an average follow-up of 5.4 years:
• Patients who took at least one blood pressure-lowering medication at bedtime had better control of their blood pressure,
• And were two-thirds less likely to experience a heart-related event such as a heart attack, a stroke, or heart failure compared to patients who took their medications upon awakening.
• Also, sleep-time blood pressure was a much more accurate measure of heart health than wake-time blood pressure.
“Our results indicate that cardiovascular event rates in patients with hypertension can be reduced by more than 50% with a zero-cost strategy of administering blood pressure-lowering medications at bedtime rather than in the morning,” says Dr. Hermida.
“This study also documents for the first time that sleep-time blood pressure is the most relevant independent marker of cardiovascular risk,” he adds.
Source: American Society of Nephrology (ASN) news release, Oct 24, 2011
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