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Beta-blockers for hypertension.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

This review is an update of the Cochrane Review published in 2007, which assessed the role of beta-blockade as first-line therapy for hypertension.

OBJECTIVES

To quantify the effectiveness and safety of beta-blockers on morbidity and mortality endpoints in adults with hypertension.

SEARCH METHODS

In December 2011 we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, and reference lists of previous reviews; for eligible studies published since the previous search we conducted in May 2006.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least one year duration, which assessed the effects of beta-blockers compared to placebo or other drugs, as first-line therapy for hypertension, on mortality and morbidity in adults.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

We selected studies and extracted data in duplicate. We expressed study results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and combined them using the fixed-effects or random-effects method, as appropriate.

MAIN RESULTS

We included 13 RCTs which compared beta-blockers to placebo (4 trials, N=23,613), diuretics (5 trials, N=18,241), calcium-channel blockers (CCBs: 4 trials, N=44,825), and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors (3 trials, N=10,828). Three-quarters of the 40,245 participants on beta-blockers used atenolol. Most studies had a high risk of bias; resulting from various limitations in study design, conduct, and data analysis.Total mortality was not significantly different between beta-blockers and placebo (RR 0.99, 95%CI 0.88 to 1.11; I(2)=0%), diuretics or RAS inhibitors, but was higher for beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.07, 95%CI 1.00 to 1.14; I(2)=2%). Total cardiovascular disease (CVD) was lower for beta-blockers compared to placebo (RR 0.88, 95%CI 0.79 to 0.97; I(2)=21%). This is primarily a reflection of the significant decrease in stroke (RR 0.80, 95%CI 0.66 to 0.96; I(2)=0%), since there was no significant difference in coronary heart disease (CHD) between beta-blockers and placebo. There was no significant difference in withdrawals from assigned treatment due to adverse events between beta-blockers and placebo (RR 1.12, 95%CI 0.82 to 1.54; I(2)=66%).The effect of beta-blockers on CVD was significantly worse than that of CCBs (RR 1.18, 95%CI 1.08-1.29; I(2)=0%), but was not different from that of diuretics or RAS inhibitors. In addition, there was an increase in stroke in beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.24, 95%CI 1.11-1.40; I(2)=0%) and RAS inhibitors (RR 1.30, 95%CI 1.11 to 1.53; I(2)=29%). However, CHD was not significantly different between beta-blockers and diuretics, CCBs or RAS inhibitors. Participants on beta-blockers were more likely to discontinue treatment due to adverse events than those on RAS inhibitors (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.54; I(2)=12%), but there was no significant difference with diuretics or CCBs.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

Initiating treatment of hypertension with beta-blockers leads to modest reductions in cardiovascular disease and no significant effects on mortality. These effects of beta-blockers are inferior to those of other antihypertensive drugs. The GRADE quality of this evidence is low, implying that the true effect of beta-blockers may be substantially different from the estimate of effects found in this review. Further research should be of high quality and should explore whether there are differences between different sub-types of beta-blockers or whether beta-blockers have differential effects on younger and elderly patients.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine & Division of Medical Microbiology, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory, South Africa, 7925.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22895924

Citation

Wiysonge, Charles Shey, et al. "Beta-blockers for Hypertension." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2012, p. CD002003.
Wiysonge CS, Bradley HA, Volmink J, et al. Beta-blockers for hypertension. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012.
Wiysonge, C. S., Bradley, H. A., Volmink, J., Mayosi, B. M., Mbewu, A., & Opie, L. H. (2012). Beta-blockers for hypertension. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (8), CD002003. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002003.pub3
Wiysonge CS, et al. Beta-blockers for Hypertension. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Aug 15;(8)CD002003. PubMed PMID: 22895924.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Beta-blockers for hypertension. AU - Wiysonge,Charles Shey, AU - Bradley,Hazel A, AU - Volmink,Jimmy, AU - Mayosi,Bongani M, AU - Mbewu,Anthony, AU - Opie,Lionel H, Y1 - 2012/08/15/ PY - 2012/8/17/entrez PY - 2012/8/17/pubmed PY - 2012/9/27/medline SP - CD002003 EP - CD002003 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev IS - 8 N2 - BACKGROUND: This review is an update of the Cochrane Review published in 2007, which assessed the role of beta-blockade as first-line therapy for hypertension. OBJECTIVES: To quantify the effectiveness and safety of beta-blockers on morbidity and mortality endpoints in adults with hypertension. SEARCH METHODS: In December 2011 we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, and reference lists of previous reviews; for eligible studies published since the previous search we conducted in May 2006. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least one year duration, which assessed the effects of beta-blockers compared to placebo or other drugs, as first-line therapy for hypertension, on mortality and morbidity in adults. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We selected studies and extracted data in duplicate. We expressed study results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and combined them using the fixed-effects or random-effects method, as appropriate. MAIN RESULTS: We included 13 RCTs which compared beta-blockers to placebo (4 trials, N=23,613), diuretics (5 trials, N=18,241), calcium-channel blockers (CCBs: 4 trials, N=44,825), and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors (3 trials, N=10,828). Three-quarters of the 40,245 participants on beta-blockers used atenolol. Most studies had a high risk of bias; resulting from various limitations in study design, conduct, and data analysis.Total mortality was not significantly different between beta-blockers and placebo (RR 0.99, 95%CI 0.88 to 1.11; I(2)=0%), diuretics or RAS inhibitors, but was higher for beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.07, 95%CI 1.00 to 1.14; I(2)=2%). Total cardiovascular disease (CVD) was lower for beta-blockers compared to placebo (RR 0.88, 95%CI 0.79 to 0.97; I(2)=21%). This is primarily a reflection of the significant decrease in stroke (RR 0.80, 95%CI 0.66 to 0.96; I(2)=0%), since there was no significant difference in coronary heart disease (CHD) between beta-blockers and placebo. There was no significant difference in withdrawals from assigned treatment due to adverse events between beta-blockers and placebo (RR 1.12, 95%CI 0.82 to 1.54; I(2)=66%).The effect of beta-blockers on CVD was significantly worse than that of CCBs (RR 1.18, 95%CI 1.08-1.29; I(2)=0%), but was not different from that of diuretics or RAS inhibitors. In addition, there was an increase in stroke in beta-blockers compared to CCBs (RR 1.24, 95%CI 1.11-1.40; I(2)=0%) and RAS inhibitors (RR 1.30, 95%CI 1.11 to 1.53; I(2)=29%). However, CHD was not significantly different between beta-blockers and diuretics, CCBs or RAS inhibitors. Participants on beta-blockers were more likely to discontinue treatment due to adverse events than those on RAS inhibitors (RR 1.41, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.54; I(2)=12%), but there was no significant difference with diuretics or CCBs. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Initiating treatment of hypertension with beta-blockers leads to modest reductions in cardiovascular disease and no significant effects on mortality. These effects of beta-blockers are inferior to those of other antihypertensive drugs. The GRADE quality of this evidence is low, implying that the true effect of beta-blockers may be substantially different from the estimate of effects found in this review. Further research should be of high quality and should explore whether there are differences between different sub-types of beta-blockers or whether beta-blockers have differential effects on younger and elderly patients. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22895924/Beta_blockers_for_hypertension_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002003.pub3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -