Blood Pressure Drugs Work Best at Bedtime
People with high blood pressure who take all their anti-hypertensive medication in one go at bedtime have better controlled blood pressure and a significantly lower risk of death or illness caused by heart or blood vessel problems, compared to those who take their medication in the morning, according to new research. The Hygia Chronotherapy Trial, which is published in the European Heart Journal  today (Wednesday), is the largest to investigate the effect of the time of day when people take their anti-hypertensive medication on the risk of cardiovascular problems. It randomised 19,084 patients to taking their pills on waking or at bedtime, and it has followed them for the longest length of time - an average of more than six years - during which time the patients' ambulatory blood pressure was checked over 48 hours at least once a year. The researchers, who are part of the Hygia Project led by Professor Ramón C. Hermida, Director of the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Labs at the University of Vigo, Spain, found that patients who took their medication at bedtime had nearly half the risk (45% reduction) of dying from or suffering heart attacks, myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure or requiring a procedure to unblock narrowed arteries (coronary revascularisation), compared to patients who took their medication on waking.