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Posted: June 03, 2008

Experts Say Taking Aspirin at Bedtime Lowers Blood Pressure

Taking a low-dosage aspirin at bedtime turns out to be more effective at controlling blood pressure – and avoiding hypertension – than taking it at any other time of the day, new research shows.

According to Spanish researchers, there was no perceived benefit in lowering blood pressure in a pre-hypertensive condition when the tablet was taken in the morning. Pre-hypertension, which is defined as blood pressure just below the 140/90 mm Hg level, is a known warning sign of future risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

In an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers studied 328 people with untreated hypertension of between 130/80 and 135/85 mm Hg. The patients were then split into three groups, all of whom were prescribed a healthier diet and more health-friendly lifestyle. The remaining two groups received a low-dosage aspirin on top of the dietary and lifestyle changes.  One group took the aspirin at bedtime; the other group took it in the morning.

For two days at the beginning and end of the three-month trial, blood pressure measurements were taken periodically throughout the day. In this period, the average blood pressure of the patients who took aspirin at bedtime had dropped by 6.8 mm Hg on the systolic (top) reading and 4.6 mm Hg on the diastolic (lower) reading. This was significantly better than the other two groups who either took it in the morning, or didn’t receive Aspirin at all.

The researchers, led by Dr. Ramon C. Hermida, director of bioengineering and chronobiology at the University of Vigo in Spain, said their findings could change how doctors advise their patients to take aspirin and that this could potentially mean better treatment of mild hypertension. 

They cautioned, however, that patients who have been diagnosed with mild hypertension should check with their doctor before making any changes to their medication schedule.

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