β-Blockers for Primary Prevention in Hypertension: Era Bygone?
Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases
β-Blockers are used commonly worldwide in clinical practice for lowering blood pressure. Most of the agents in this class are efficacious in reducing blood pressure, although they vary widely in their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. This variability may confer significant differences in clinical benefits associated with use of specific agents. Although commonly used in managing hypertension, the role of β-blockers for primary prevention in uncomplicated hypertension has been controversial. Evidence from recent trials suggest relatively poor efficacy toward primary prevention and worse outcomes for certain end points, when compared with other blood pressure-lowering agents, Recently updated National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for England and Wales reflect this concern and have changed the indication for β-blockers for blood pressure control from primary agents to use as an add-on agent in patients requiring multiple therapy. In this review, considering the extended debate on this topic, we discuss the general properties of β-blockers and evidence from clinical trials supporting or refuting their use in various clinical scenarios. Newer β-blockers have additional properties which may be beneficial. Although, whether these additional benefits will help in primary prevention is not clear. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Panjrath, G., & Messerli, F. (2006). β-Blockers for Primary Prevention in Hypertension: Era Bygone?. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 49 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2006.07.002