Antihypertensive treatment with beta-blockers in the metabolic syndrome: A review

Angelo M. Carella, Giuseppe Antonucci, Matteo Conte, Michele Di Pumpo, Armando Giancola, Elisabetta Antonucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metabolic syndrome, a "cluster" of metabolic disorders including hypertension, increases the cardiovascular risk, and insulin resistance plays a key role in its pathogenesis. In this syndrome antihypertensive treatment with beta- blockers is underused because of their adverse metabolic effects. The aim was to review the evidences supporting the reasons for under-using beta-blockers in hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome. A review of Literature has been carried out via PubMed from 1998 to 2008: most of beta-blockers have adverse effects on insulin sensitivity, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and are not recommended in metabolic syndrome. However, some recent large studies have shown a better metabolic profile with newer third generation vasodilating beta-blockers, such as Carvedilol and Nebivolol. Vasodilating action of Carvedilol and Nebivolol, due respectively to alpha1-blocking effect and release of nitric oxide, explains the lack of adverse metabolic effects of these beta-blockers that could also be used in hypertensive patients with metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Antihypertensive
  • Beta-blockers
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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