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October 17, 2005

Stroke risks linked to blood pressure drugs

Topics: Medicine

According to a major study, beta-blockers used as an anti-high blood pressure drug are leaving patients at far greater risk of suffering strokes than if they take other medication for the condition, according to a major study.

People taking the commonly prescribed beta-blockers had a 16 per cent higher chance of stroke than if they took other drugs to treat high blood pressure, according to the findings by Swedish researchers. One particular beta-blocker, atenolol, was found to be associated with a 26 per cent higher stroke risk.

[Predictors of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in hypertension]

Three epidemiological studies show that arterial stiffness is itself an independent predictor of the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, coronary events and stroke in hypertensive subjects. Pulse pressure and arterial stiffness are therefore important targets for antihypertensive agents, which need to demonstrate efficacy not only against elevated blood pressure in brachial arteries but also on large artery stiffness in order to achieve target organ protection. Major evidence of the efficacy of antihypertensive agents in these components of blood pressure has come from a study which found that low-dose perindopril/indapamide but not atenolol reduced central pulse pressure and arterial stiffness.

Posted by Richard at October 17, 2005 11:58 PM

Question: Are we talking about ischemic strokes or hemorragic strokes? neither article is clear on that. I have Atrial Tach and have been prescribed beta blockers to slow the rhythm down. Of course one of the risks of this disease is clot formation due to turbulent blood flow. if the issue is one of hemmorage, then it is less of an issue for me than if it is one of ischemia.

Posted by: Rorschach Author Profile Page at October 18, 2005 11:10 AM

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