According to the CDC:
More than 360,000 American deaths in 2013 included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause. That is almost 1,000 deaths each day.
High blood pressure increases your risk for dangerous health conditions:
- First heart attack: About 7 of every 10 people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure.
- First stroke: About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.
- Chronic (long lasting) heart failure: About 7 of every 10 people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.
- Kidney disease is also a major risk factor for high blood pressure.
Although you cannot control all of your risk factors for high blood pressure, you can take steps to prevent or control high blood pressure and its complications.
- Since 1999, more people with high blood pressure—especially those 60 years old or older—have become aware of their condition and gotten treatment. Unfortunately, about 1 of 5 U.S. adults with high blood pressure still do not know that they have it.
- About 7 in 10 U.S. adults with high blood pressure use medications to treat the condition.
- In 2009, Americans visited their health care providers more than 55 million times to treat high blood pressure.
The bottom line is that millions of Americans have high blood pressure and more and more of them are taking some type of medication to help control their hypertension and I’m one of them.
The last time I saw my doctor, she told me that I should take my blood pressure medication at night and I found that curious. I asked her why and she just said it’s better at night. After reading this recent report, now I know why:
Taking blood pressure medications at bedtime rather than in the morning nearly halves the risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure, a large, new study finds.
Researchers in Spain followed more than 19,000 adults with high blood pressure. They found people who took all their blood pressure meds at night had lower blood pressure around the clock compared to volunteers who took their medication in the morning.
“The findings are highly consistent regardless of sex, age, presence of diabetes or kidney disease, and other major known factors of increased risk,” said study lead author Ramon Hermida…
“Conventionally, most patients ingest their medication in the morning,” said Hermida, “although no single trial ever documented this to be preferable.” No guidelines are currently in place regarding the best time to take the drugs, he added.
A number of health professionals reviewing this study pointed out that one of the main keys is routine – making sure you take all of your medications at the same time every day without fail.
However, THE most important thing is for everyone to be tested for high blood pressure, especially seniors, and then to take prescribed medication and make the necessary changes to diet and activity to reduce the effects of high blood pressure.