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Review: β blockers are less effective than other antihypertensive drugs for reducing risk of stroke in primary hypertension

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 Q In patients with primary hypertension, are β blockers more effective than placebo or other antihypertensive drugs for reducing stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and all cause mortality?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★★★ Cardiology ★★★★★★★


Embedded ImageData sources:

PubMed and the Cochrane Library.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared β blockers as first line treatment with placebo, no treatment, or other antihypertensive drugs in patients with primary hypertension. Subgroup analyses were conducted for non-atenolol β blockers, mixed β blockers or diuretics, and atenolol. 13 RCTs (n = 133 384) met the selection criteria.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

all cause mortality, stroke, and MI.


β blockers led to a lower incidence of stroke …

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  • For correspondence: Professor L H Lindholm, Umea University Hospital, Umea, Sweden. Larsh.lindholm{at}

  • Source of funding: County of Vasterbotten, Sweden.

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