To the Editor: We were disappointed to see
the JNC 7 report's outdated admonition that "β-blockers should generally
be avoided in individuals who have asthma [or] reactive airways disease."1 Most of the β-blockers used in today's clinical
practice are cardioselective agents with minimal β2 effects.
These newer agents confer little risk for bronchospasm. Because there is now
ample evidence that β-blockers save lives in certain subsets of patients
with hypertension—such as those with prior myocardial infarction, those
undergoing major surgery, and those with congestive heart failure—it
is crucial that these medications are not withheld based on outdated fears.
Brotman DJ, Frost SD. The JNC 7 Hypertension GuidelinesThe JNC 7 Hypertension Guidelines. JAMA. 2003;290(10):1312. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1312-a