Reexamining misconceptions about β-blockers in patients with diabetes

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Diabetes is increasing in the United States as the population ages, becomes less active, and grows more obese, and the prevalence is expected to double in the next 25 years.68 Diabetes and hypertension frequently coexist, affecting > 3 million adults in the United States.2 Hypertension in patients with diabetes must be treated aggressively to reduce the risk of macrovascular and microvascular morbidity and mortality. Because of their intrinsic high CVD risk, patients with diabetes have a more stringent blood pressure target (< 130/80 mmHg) than nondiabetic patients. National guidelines recommend β-blockers among preferred therapies for control of blood pressure in patients with diabetes.5,6 When more than one drug is necessary to reach blood pressure goals, combinations of antihypertensives of different classes (e.g., a β-blocker and an ACE inhibitor or diuretic) provide complementary actions. Because of the need for multiple medications to effectively manage patients with diabetes and hypertension, the appropriate selection of a treatment regimen with good tolerability and simplified dosing is crucial to maximize positive outcomes in this high-risk population. Unlike traditional β-blockers, vasodilatory β-blockers have favorable tolerability and metabolic profiles, while offering effective blood pressure control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Diabetes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


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