Beta-adrenergic receptor blockers are one of the oldest class of cardiovascular drugs still in use. Several short and long-term clinical outcomes prospective studies have demonstrated their effectiveness and safety for the treatment of hypertension, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure and sudden death. Despite their proven benefits, some investigators have cautioned against their use, and others, more recently, have suggested the complete withdrawal from their use in the treatment of hypertension. In this review, evidence based information will be presented which will demonstrate that beta-blockers are an effective and safe antihypertensive class of drugs across all age, gender and race groups. In addition, evidence will be provided that these agents are useful drugs in the treatment of hypertensive patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes mellitus, peripheral arterial disease and lung disease, and therefore they should continue to be used in the treatment of these patients, either alone or in combination with other antihypertensive drugs.
Keywords: Beta-Adrenergic Receptor, beta-Blocker Heart Attack Trial (BHAT), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), ACE inhibitor, hypertensive patients
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