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J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 Oct;36(10):867-73.

Use of beta-adrenergic receptor blockers in blacks.

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  • 1Section of Cardiology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912, USA.


Beta adrenergic receptor blockers (beta-blockers) are an important class of drugs in the management of patients with cardiovascular diseases. These drugs have been shown to reduce mortality in hypertension and prolong survival in patients with coronary heart disease. Although hypertension and coronary heart disease account for the majority of excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in blocks, beta-blockers continue to be underprescribed in this ethnic group. The magnitude of blood pressure reduction in black patients with hypertension has been consistently less during monotherapy with nonselective beta-blockers than with diuretics. However, the highly selective beta-blocker bisoprolol has been shown to be as effective as diuretics and is equally effective in black and nonblack patients with hypertension. In general, no racial differences in efficacy are noted when beta-blockers are used with diuretics as combination therapy for hypertension. Black patients should not be denied beta-blocker therapy because of an anticipated suboptimal response, especially when there are clear indications for treatment (e.g., for migraine, hyperthyroidism, arrhythmia control, and after myocardial infarction).

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