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Questioning The Use Of Beta Blockers

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Beta blockers are a class of medications that have been used in the treatment of heart disease for decades and for good reason. They are effective.

However, critics say that their widespread use is based on old data, gathered before modern heart surgeries and medications.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 45,000 patients followed for four years. The question was asked, did patients on beta blockers have fewer non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes, or deaths related to cardiovascular disease?

Use of beta blockers was not associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.
There are certainly many reasons to support the use of beta blockers but the government is now paying hospitals for proper use and it raises a big question. Are we overdoing it?