Taking high blood pressure medication at night reduced  risk of type II diabetes

A study published last week in the journal Diabetologia found that when people on high blood pressure medication took it at bedtime instead of in the morning, the risk of type II diabetes was reduced overall, by more than 60% . When medication was taken at night, blood pressure during sleep decreased, which is what happens in people with normal blood pressure and this decrease was associated with the reduction in type II diabetes risk. Additionally, high blood pressure was better controlled.  There was no change in the type or dose of blood pressure medication, only a change in the time it was taken.

A summary of this study is at:

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The relationship between high blood pressure control and type II diabetes lies in the action of a few hormones, one in particular called angiotensin II, which affect both blood vessels and blood sugar. These hormones cause blood vessels to narrow, which leads to high blood pressure. Because of this, they are often the target of high blood pressure medication. These hormones also increase the amount of glucose, blood sugar, the liver releases and decrease cell sensitivity to insulin which leads to insulin resistance and type II diabetes. So, that’s the connection between high blood pressure and type II diabetes. Now for the connection between the timing of high blood pressure medication and reduced risk of type II diabetes.

In normotensive people, those with normal blood pressure readings, blood pressure varies though out the day and drops to its lowest point between midnight and about 4 am. According to the results of this study, this drop its called dipping, doesn't always happen in people with high blood pressure, even if they take medication. But when they take their medication at night, dipping happens more often, and for every 14 points the blood pressure dipped, went down, during sleep, the person’s risk of type II diabetes went down 30 %.

So, the take away from this research is that taking high blood pressure medication at bedtime rather than in the morning, may be beneficial.  If you are on high blood pressure medication and are taking it in the morning, talk to your health care provider about the possible benefits for you, of switching. Do not just make the change on your own.  

For more information:

Earlier study about reducing heart attack risk and the timing of high blood pressure medication

High blood pressure

Type II diabetes


Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES is the principal health education specialist at Associates for Health, LLC, in Sparta, a practice focused on improving health through education. Associates for Health, LLC offers individual and group health education seminars, individual health behavior change instruction and guidance and health consulting for health care professionals. For more information please see www.associatesforhealth.com.  To contact Dr. Hayden, email her at joannahayden@associatesforhealth.com