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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2013 Dec;15(12):925-30. doi: 10.1111/jch.12204. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

β-Blockers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: inappropriate avoidance?

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Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is often accompanied by one or more comorbid conditions. While there are established morbidity and mortality benefits of β-blocker (BB) use for certain cardiovascular conditions, data suggest that clinicians are often reluctant to prescribe them in the presence of COPD because of concerns for bronchoconstriction, despite evidence that they are typically well-tolerated among these patients. Treatment guidelines for COPD are consistent with those for cardiovascular disease management and support the role of BBs in management of particular cardiovascular conditions, even in the presence of severe COPD. Adherence to these guidelines could result in significant decreases in morbidity and mortality among patients with COPD. Additionally, current treatments for COPD are often linked to increased cardiovascular disease events. Further study is needed to clarify and guide therapeutic management in patients with COPD.

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