Skip to content

    Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

    Font Size

    High Blood Pressure: Nightly Aspirin May Help

    When You Take Aspirin May Matter, Spanish Study Shows

    Second Opinion

    The results are "surprising and thought provoking" and the potential implications for blood pressure treatment are "most important," writes Franz Messerli, MD, FACC, in a journal editorial.

    Messerli, who works at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, writes that he "wholeheartedly agrees" that more studies are needed.

    But he's not totally sold on the idea that taking aspirin at night eases high blood pressure.

    Many questions need to be answered before low-dose bedtime aspirin can be routinely recommended for high blood pressure, notes Messerli.

    "As provocative as these findings are, they originate from a single source only," he writes, calling for "extreme caution" in interpreting the results.

    Improving Blood Pressure

    While scientists tackle the aspirin-at-night topic, there are steps you can take right now to handle high blood pressure.

    There's good reason to make the effort. High blood pressure raises the odds of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

    Nearly one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, and almost a third of them don't know it, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

    10 Steps to Better Blood Pressure

    The AHA offers these tips for better blood pressure:

    • Get your blood pressure checked. Knowledge is a powerful first step. High blood pressure doesn't make you feel ill; it's called the silent killer.
    • Get medical advice. Your doctor can help determine what strategies will help most with any blood pressure issues.
    • Quit smoking. Smoking raises your odds of heart problems, stroke, and other health problems. Quitting can take several tries, so hang in there and get support.
    • Become more active. If you've been idle, check in with your doctor first.
    • Eat healthfully. Cutting down on salt can help. Make fruits, vegetables, and low- or no-fat dairy products part of a healthy diet.
    • Take medications, if needed. Work with your doctor to see if you need blood pressure drugs.
    • Lose excess weight. Your blood pressure may improve as you shed extra pounds.
    • Don't drink too much alcohol. The AHA suggests limiting alcohol to no more than one or two drinks per day.
    • Manage your stress. You'll be helping your heart and blood vessels take it easy.
    • Talk to your doctor about your medications. Some medications can affect blood pressure
    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    blood pressure
    Symptoms, causes, and more.
    Learn the causes.
    Compressed heart
    5 habits to change.
    Mature man floating in pool, goggles on head
    Exercises that help.
    heart healthy living
    Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
    Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
    Compressed heart
    Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
    thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
    Heart Foods Slideshow
    Low Blood Pressure

    WebMD Special Sections