Protection against heart attack, stroke and vascular death is not affected if blood pressure medication is taken in the morning or evening, a recent study found. File Photo by JPC-PROD/Shutterstock

Protection against heart attack, stroke and vascular death is not affected if blood pressure medication is taken in the morning or evening, a recent study found. File Photo by JPC-PROD/Shutterstock

It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day or night you take your blood pressure medication, a new study finds.

The results of a randomized trial of more than 21,000 patients with high blood pressure who were followed for over five years show that protection against heart attack, stroke and vascular death is not affected if the drugs are taken in the morning or evening.

These findings contradict previous research that suggested a large benefit when the medications are taken at night.

For the study, men and women were randomly assigned to take their blood pressure drugs in the morning or evening. The researchers then looked for hospitalization for heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease.

Over a median of five years, 3.4% of those who took their medication at night and 3.7% of those who took their medication in the morning were hospitalized for heart attack, stroke or died from cardiovascular disease.

The findings were presented Friday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, in Barcelona. Research presented at medical meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The study “was one of the largest cardiovascular studies ever conducted and provides a definitive answer on the question of whether blood pressure-lowering medications should be taken in the morning or evening,” said researcher Thomas MacDonald, a research professor at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

“The trial clearly found that heart attack, stroke and vascular death occurred to a similar degree, regardless of the time of administration,” MacDonald said in a meeting news release. “People with high blood pressure should take their regular antihypertensive medications at a time of day that is convenient for them and minimizes any undesirable effects.”

More information

For more on high blood pressure, see the American Heart Association.

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