Health Watch

Are you on blood pressure drugs? Take them at night

Some people take blood pressure medications in the morning, others take them at night. Does it make a difference?
This study involved 2,012 adults (average age, 53) who had hypertension and were taking at least one medication to lower their blood pressure. None of the participants had diabetes. They were randomly assigned to take all of their blood pressure drugs at bedtime or to take them upon awakening in the morning. All had periodic blood tests and blood pressure monitoring.
In a six-year span, 171 participants developed Type 2 diabetes. Among those who took their blood pressure medications at night, about 5 percent developed diabetes, compared with 12 percent of those who took the drugs in the morning. People who took beta blockers or ACE inhibitors benefited the most, with 69 and 65 percent reductions in risk.
Blood pressure measurements were better among those taking their medication at night, with those participants achieving, on average, lower blood pressure while sleeping and better blood pressure control. Essentially no variation in side effects from the drugs was found between morning and nighttime ingestion.
Who may be affected? People with hypertension (a reading of 140/90 or higher). About 70 million American adults have high blood pressure, and an equal number have higher-than-normal but not full-blown hypertension. People with diabetes are more likely than others to develop high blood pressure; having hypertension also makes you more likely to develop diabetes. A companion study by the same researchers found that people whose blood pressure did not dip substantially overnight were more likely to develop diabetes than were those who experienced a greater drop in blood pressure while they slept.
Caveats Participants took a variety of blood pressure medications. Nearly all of those who took beta blockers took the same new-generation drug, prompting the authors to note that other beta blockers might not yield the same results. All participants were Spanish; the effect on other ethnic groups was not tested.

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Christian Voice