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FOR MAXIMUM BLOOD PRESSURE REDUCTION, TAKE ASPIRIN AT BEDTIME, RESEARCHERS SAY
NEW YORK, NY - Patients who took aspirin before going to bed exhibited significantly greater blood pressure reductions than those who took aspirin upon awakening or according to non-pharmacological hygienic-dietary recommendations, said researchers at the Seventeenth Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.
"Timed administration of low-dose aspirin could be a valuable approach not only for the prevention of major cardiovascular events, but also for the control of blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension," said Ramon C. Hermida, PhD, director of Bioengineering & Chronobiology Labs at the University of Vigo in Spain.
Some studies have examined the anti-hypertensive effects of aspirin, but results have been inconsistent. Dr. Hermida and colleagues speculated that the timing of aspirin administration might be a key factor because many of the physiological pathways affected by the drug have statistically significant circadian rhythms. The body's tendency to absorb aspirin more quickly in the morning than in the evening illustrates this phenomenon.
Dr. Hermida and colleagues followed 109 mild hypertensives divided into three groups: those who took aspirin upon awakening, at bedtime or according to non-pharmacological hygienic-dietary recommendations. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured with an ambulatory device every 20-30 minutes over a 48-hour period both before and after three months of intervention.
Upon the study's conclusion, subjects who took aspirin at bedtime exhibited a highly significant reduction in blood pressure when compared with their cohorts.
"The hypertensives who took aspirin at night on average decreased their systolic blood pressure by 7.0 mm Hg, and diastolic blood pressure by 4.8 mm Hg," commented Dr. Hermida. "In contrast, there was no effect on blood pressure when aspirin was administered upon awakening."
The researchers concluded that timing of administration might account for discrepancies in previous studies on the hypertensive effects of aspirin. Moreover, they stressed the importance of identifying patients taking aspirin and controlling for the drug's effects in future antihypertension medical trials.
The American Society of Hypertension (ASH) is the largest US organization devoted exclusively to hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases. ASH is committed to alerting physicians, allied health professions and the public about new medical options, facts, research findings and treatment choices designed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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