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Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

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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
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