Antihypertensive beta blocking action as related to renin and age: a pharmacologic tool to identify pathogenetic mechanisms in essential hypertension

Am J Cardiol. 1975 Oct 31;36(5):653-69. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(75)90168-x.


Three hundred fifteen patients with essential hypertension were classified according to low (18 percent), normal (59 percent) or high (23 percent) renin-sodium index. The proportion of patients with low renin hypertension progressively increased with increasing age and blood pressure, there being no difference between the sexes. Two high renin groups emerged: a younger group with early moderate hypertension, and an older group with severe hypertension consequent to possibly ischemic renal disease. Long-term beta blocking monotherapy in 137 patients resulted in a reduction of idastolic pressure to 95 mm Hg or less in 65 percent: 85 percent in those with high and 73 percent in those with normal renin activity; pressure was reduced to this level in only 1 of 24 patients (4 percent) with a low renin index. Antihypertensive efficacy was also related to age, since diastolic pressure was normalized in 80 percent of patients under age 40 years, in 50 percent of those aged 40 to 60 years, but in only 20 percent of those over age 60 years. Age may heolp in patient selection but is no substitute for the more reliable renin index, especially in patients over age 40 years, or with high pressure. Using studiew with propranolol as a standard, similar renin responses were obtained with two cardioselective beta1 type blocking drugs, atenolol and metoprolol, as well as with two nonselective beta2+1 receptor antagonists, LL21945 exhibiting prolonged receptor affinity and oxprenolol in slow release form. These long-acting drugs, which proved effective in single daily doses, could be of value in improving patient compliance...

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxprenolol / pharmacology
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Renin / blood
  • Renin / metabolism
  • Renin / physiology*
  • Sex Factors


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Oxprenolol
  • Propranolol
  • Renin