Patients should take blood-pressure drugs in the evening rather than in the morning. Picture: Pexels

London - Patients should take blood-pressure drugs in the evening rather than the morning to cut their risk of an early death.

A study published in the European Heart Journal found that people were far less likely to suffer – and die from – heart attacks, heart disease and stroke if they took drugs to cut blood pressure at bedtime.

The research is the biggest study of its kind on drug timing and health outcomes. For the seven-year trial, 19 084 people were split into two groups taking drugs at different times.

People who took them in the evening had a 66% lower risk of death from heart disease, a 44% reduced risk of heart attack, and a 40% lower risk of coronary revascularisation. They also had a 42% lower risk of heart failure and almost half the risk of stroke.

The research was led by a team from the University of Vigo in Spain. Author Professor Ramon Hermida said: ''Patients who routinely take their anti-hypertensive medication at bedtime have better-controlled blood pressure and a significantly decreased risk of death or illness from heart and blood vessel problems."

Vanessa Smith, at the British Heart Foundation, said the study supported previous evidence but further research was needed. She added: "If you’re currently taking blood pressure medication, it’s important to check with your GP or pharmacist before changing the time you take it."

A normal systolic pressure is below 120.

A reading of 120-129 is elevated.

130-139 is stage 1 high blood pressure.

140 or more is stage 2 hypertension.

180 or more is a hypertensive crisis.

Daily Mail