Evening aspirin improves efficacy

Scientists gave aspirin to 290 patients with cardiovascular disease who were told to take it either upon waking or at bedtime over two periods of three months.

At the end of each period, their blood pressure and platelet activity were measured.

Blood pressure was not affected, but aspirin taken at night led to a significant reduction in platelet activity. Lowered platelet activity, which peaks in the morning, is likely to result in less blood clotting and a reduced risk of infarcts.

"Because higher platelet activity contributes to a higher risk of acute heart events, this simple intervention – switching aspirin intake from morning to bedtime – could be beneficial for the millions of patients with heart disease who take aspirin on a daily basis," said lead researcher Dr Tobias Bonten, from Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

The findings were presented at the recent American Heart Association's Scientific