Commonly prescribed drugs called beta blockers fail to protect against heart attacks and strokes even while helping to control heart rate and blood pressure, researchers report in the Oct. 3 Journal of the American Medical Association. Beta blockers also didn’t lessen the odds of a heart-related death, in heart attack patients or others at risk, over a median follow-up of 44 months.
The American Heart Association had previously discouraged the long-term use of beta blockers for people with only risk factors or as a post–heart attack treatment beyond three years. The new findings further dim the prospects for drugs that have been a standard treatment for decades.
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