Are β-blockers associated with lower rates of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events when used as initial treatment in individuals with hypertension compared with placebo, no treatment, or other drugs?
Initial therapy of hypertension with β-blockers is not associated with reduced all-cause mortality but is associated with modest reductions in cardiovascular events compared with placebo or no treatment. Calcium channel blockers and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors are associated with greater reductions in cardiovascular event rates than β-blockers. This evidence derives from trials of traditional β-blockers (eg, atenolol and propranolol), because there are currently no mortality and cardiovascular event data on the new vasodilating β-blockers (eg, carvedilol and nebivolol).
Wiysonge CS, Opie LH. β-Blockers as Initial Therapy for Hypertension. JAMA. 2013;310(17):1851-1852. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277510