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Review
. Sep-Oct 2005;20(5):354-64.
doi: 10.1097/00005082-200509000-00010.

Treating Hypertension With Cardioprotective Therapies: The Role of ACE Inhibitors, ARBs, and Beta-Blockers

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Review

Treating Hypertension With Cardioprotective Therapies: The Role of ACE Inhibitors, ARBs, and Beta-Blockers

Beth A Staffileno. J Cardiovasc Nurs. .

Abstract

Hypertension is both a disease and risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and each 20/10 mm Hg rise in blood pressure (BP) doubles the risk for CVD. Although BP reduction through lifestyle modification and/or antihypertensive therapy has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk for CVD, recent evidence has shown that many patients with hypertension do not have adequate BP control. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 7) provides comprehensive guidelines on the diagnosis, classification, and management of hypertension and related CV conditions. The JNC 7 guidelines recommend that most patients receive first-line therapy with thiazide diuretics, but the majority of patients will require 2 or more antihypertensive agents to achieve adequate BP control. The selection of additional antihypertensive therapies should be based on the presence of concomitant CV and metabolic conditions as well as patient-specific factors such as race. An important role exists for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and beta-blockers, particularly in patients with comorbid CV or metabolic conditions. Clinical evidence suggests that these agents may offer benefits beyond simple BP lowering. Furthermore, synergies among antihypertensive classes may improve BP control and combination therapy may also permit the use of smaller doses of each medication and reduce the risk of dose-related adverse effects.

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