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Monday, May 14, 2007

Beta-blockers in hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Beta-blockers in hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

The author of this review provides practical pointers on the use of beta-blockers for the non-specialist clinician under the following headings:

  • Are beta-blockers less protective in hypertensive patients?
  • Do beta-blockers have any role in cardiovascular disease?
  • Is treatment outcome affected by type of beta-blocker used or age profile of patient?
  • Which beta-blocker should we use?
  • How should beta-blockers be used?
The main summary points (taken directly from the article) are as follows:
  • Beta-blockers reduce mortality after a myocardial infarction and improve prognosis in patients with systolic heart failure
  • They reduce adverse outcomes in perioperative management of high risk patients
  • In younger hypertensive patients (aged under 60 years), beta-blockers are equivalent to other antihypertensive agents
  • Beta-blockers may improve prognosis and favourably retard disease progression in coronary artery disease
  • Atenolol may be less useful than other beta-blockers, and other antihypertensive drugs, in reducing cardiovascular disease in hypertensive patients

Br Med J 2007; 334: 946-9 (link to extract)

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