Heart beat: Earlier use for beta blockers?

Heart beat

Earlier use for beta blockers?

Beta blockers are recommended for most heart attack survivors and people with heart failure for one simple reason — they help such folks live longer. It's possible they may do the same thing for people with less severe forms of heart disease.

That's the conclusion of an interesting study out of Salt Lake City. Researchers followed more than 4,000 men and women who had an angiogram showing at least one clogged coronary artery. None of them, though, had been through a heart attack or had heart failure. Some left the hospital after the procedure with a prescription for a beta blocker, others didn't.

After an average of three years, 94.5% of those prescribed a beta blocker were still alive, compared with 88.3% of those who weren't. Heart attacks were equally common in both groups.

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