The latest generation of beta-blockers: New pharmacologic properties

Michala E. Pedersen, John R. Cockcroft*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


β-Blockers have generally demonstrated smaller reductions in cardiovascular events, compared with other antihypertensive classes, despite similar reductions in blood pressure. This may be due to the ineffectiveness of traditional β-blockers, such as atenolol, in reducing central aortic pressure, a strong, independent predictor of cardiovascular outcome. However, the β-blocker class is heterogeneous, and some newer β-blockers, which exhibit vasodilatory effects independent of β-blockade, provide beneficial effects on arterial stiffness and endothelial dysfunction, which may lead to reductions in central aortic pressure and improvements in clinical outcomes. For example, the vasodilating β-blocker nebivolol was shown to improve forearm blood flow and arterial stiffness and, in a large clinical study, to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality, independent of left ventricular ejection fraction, among patients with chronic heart failure. Further research is warranted to investigate any potential differences between traditional and newer vasodilating β-blockers on cardiovascular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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