(HealthDay News) — There is currently insufficient data to support the use of beta-blockers for all patients with clinically stable coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a paper published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

In the journal article, David E. Winchester, MD, and Carl J. Pepine, MD, from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, discussed the use of beta-blockers for patients with stable CHD.

The researchers noted that beta-blockers are assumed to be beneficial in stable CHD based on older data, established before widespread use of reperfusion interventions, modern medical therapy or preventive treatments. 

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Now, the use of beta-blockers has been extrapolated beyond patients with heart failure and previous myocardial infarction, which have the best evidence for efficacy. No randomized clinical trials from the modern era are available demonstrating that beta-blockers reduce clinical events in stable CHD, they wrote. 

In addition, beta-blocker use is not without risk, with use correlating with weight gain, glycemic control problems, fatigue and bronchospasm.

“In conclusion, data are currently lacking to support the widespread use of beta-blockers for all stable CHD patients, but contemporary data suggest that they be reserved for a well-defined high-risk group of patients with evidence of ongoing ischemia, left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, and perhaps some arrhythmias,” the researchers wrote.

The development of the manuscript was supported by Gilead Sciences.


  1. Winchester DE and Pepine CJ. Am J Cardiol. 2014;114(10):1607-1612.