Studies in the 2000s have shown that the connection between aspirin and high blood pressure can improve a patient’s health. Patients who take a low, daily dose of aspirin before bed can reduce their blood pressure by a small amount, though those that take aspirin during the day do not receive these health benefits. Aspirin has been shown to improve other aspects of cardiovascular function as well.
Recent studies have shown that patients with moderately high blood pressure and those with prehypertension can take aspirin and that high blood pressure will be reduced. For patients with both of these conditions, treatment with aspirin is only effective when the aspirin taken at night, just before bed. Though aspirin does not reduce blood pressure a great deal, it can take several points off of both the systolic and the diastolic pressures. This slight change may be enough, in some cases, to improve a patient’s overall health.
Doctors are unsure as to why the connection between aspirin and high blood pressure is only significant at night. Aspirin may interfere with the body’s ability to manufacture the hormones responsible for creating blood clots, which the body produces more of while it is asleep. With a decreased number of small blood clots, the blood becomes thinner and puts less pressure on the walls of the blood vessels.
Aside from this connection between aspirin and high blood pressure, there is also a connection between the use of aspirin and a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Many of these potentially life-threatening cardiac events are caused by small blood clots which form in the arteries and veins. The connection between aspirin and high blood pressure arises from the capacity of the chemical found in aspirin to inhibit one of the enzymes that helps blood to clot. The enzyme prostaglandin makes blood cells cleave to one another and form a small clot.
If these clots move towards the heart or brain, they can cause a blockage that prevents blood from reaching one of these vital organs. By reducing the number of small blood clots, aspirin can help prevent these events from occurring.