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Hypertension Drug of Choice for African Americans

A beta-blocker called Nebivolol, may be the best drug to control high blood pressure, especially// among black Americans of African origin according to a new study.

At The International Society on Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB2005), Nebivolol was shown to be statistically significantly better than placebo in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure among African-American hypertensive patients in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

“Beta-blockers are under-utilized among African Americans due to the perception that this form of anti-hypertensive medication is not effective,” stated Dr. Saunders, who was one of the researcher of the study, he also added: “This study shows that nebivolol lowered blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner and was well-tolerated”.

The study found no statistically significant differences in the incidence of adverse events between the nebivolol and placebo groups. The most commonly reported adverse events were: headache (5.6% vs 4.1%, respectively); dizziness (3.6% vs 0%, respectively); arthralgia (3.6% vs 2.0%, respectively); diarrhea (3.2% vs 2.0%, respectively); fatigue (2.8% vs 0%, respectively); nasopharyngitis (2.4% vs 0%, respectively); and urinary tract infections (2.4% vs 0%, respectively).

Nebivolol is believed to have dual action. It works by selectively blocking beta1-receptors in the heart and other organs of the body and prevents action of noradrenline and adrenaline. It also works as a modest vasodilator via enhanced release of nitric oxide,(2-3) which means it can widen the blood vessels, contributing to the maintenance of arterial pressure levels within the normal range. The combination of these two actions, as a beta-blocker and a direct vasodilator, may help provide a drug therapy that is both effective and better tolerated by the hypertensive patient.

1. Weiss, R. Nebivolol in the treatment of patient s with stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. San Francisco: 20th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society on Hypertension. 2005: Poster-251.
2. Zwieten P. Nebivolol and endothelium dysfunction in salt-sensitive Dahl rats. J Hypertens. 2002;20:357.
3. Broeders MAW, Doevendans PA, Bekkers BCAM, et al. Nebivolol: a third-generation beta-blocker that augments vascular nitric oxide release. Circ.2000;102:677.

Further information on Hypertension from Medindia

- High blood pressure (hypertension) is often called the silent killer because you can have it for years without knowing it.

- High blood pressure or hypertension means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. The arteries are the vessels that carry blood from the pumping heart to all of the tissues and organs of the body.

- Blood pressure is typically recorded as the systolic pressure (as the heart beats) over the diastolic pressure (as the heart relaxes between beats). A consistent blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is considered high blood pressure, another term for hypertension.

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