Oct. 27, 2011 -- Taking at least one blood pressure medicine at bedtime cuts the risk of heart problems, according to new research.
The study also shows that participants taking at least one blood pressure pill at bedtime had lower blood pressure while asleep.
Earlier studies have suggested that bedtime dosing of at least one blood pressure medication may help control blood pressure. But the new study is believed to be the first to look at whether the timing makes a difference in terms of heart attacks, strokes, and death.
"Taking blood-pressure-lowering medication at bedtime, compared to [taking] all medication upon awakening, not only improved blood pressure control, but significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events," Hermida says in a news release.
The research appears in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Hermida's team asked half of the men and women to take all their blood pressure medicine when they got up in the morning. On average, each person took two medicines. Many took more than three.
The researchers asked the other half to take at least one of their blood pressure medicines at bedtime.
They measured blood pressure by using 48-hour ambulatory monitoring at the start of the study -- not just a single daytime measurement used in most earlier studies. They also measured blood pressure three months after any treatment changes or, at the least, every year.