Earlier use for beta blockers?
use for beta blockers?
(This article was first printed in the June
2005 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.
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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.
This report, which appeared in the April 1,
2005, American Journal of Cardiology,
is the first word, not the last, on beta blockers
and early heart disease. If confirmed by other
studies, it could extend the life-saving uses
of this medication.
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