AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champMost blood pressure patients need two or three medications. So Italian researchers performed an easy test: They told 32 non-dippers with kidney disease to switch one of those drugs from a morning to a bedtime dose. In two months, nearly 90 percent of these high-risk patients had turned into dippers. Their nighttime blood pressure dropped an average of 7 points, without side effects or increase in daytime blood pressure. Better, a key sign of kidney function improved significantly, too, Dr. Roberto Minutolo of the Second University of Naples reports this month in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. It’s the latest research in the field of chronotherapy: How our bodies’ internal rhythms make certain diseases worse at certain times of the day, and in turn affect how to time treatments. While the Italian study is too small for proof, similar studies from Europe also back a bedtime switch for non-dippers. The work is catching the attention of U.S. hypertension specialists, and now doctors at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University are planning a larger study to see if a bedtime switch really could give certain people healthier hearts and kidneys. WASHINGTON – Taking a blood pressure pill at bedtime instead of in the morning might be healthier for some high-risk people. New research suggests that simple switch may normalize patterns of blood pressure in patients at extra risk from the twin epidemics of heart and kidney disease. Why? When it comes to blood pressure, you want to be a dipper. In healthy people, blood pressure dips at night, by 10 to 20 percent. Scientists don’t know why, but suspect the drop gives arteries a little rest. People with high blood pressure that doesn’t dip at night – the non-dippers – fare worse than other hypertension sufferers, developing more serious heart disease. Moreover, heart and kidney disease fuel each other – and the 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease seem most prone to non-dipping. In addition to heart problems, they’re at extra risk of their kidney damage worsening to the point of dialysis. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!