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Beta-blockers increase diabetes risk

Those patients who take beta-blockers to lower their blood pressure levels could face a 50 per cent increased risk of developing diabetes, according to new research.
A new study has made the shocking revelation that using older drugs that are no longer recommended for treating high blood pressure could increase the risk of developing diabetes by 50 per cent, when compared to newer drugs.
Beta-blockers and diuretics have been standard medication for over 30 years, yet they could massively increase risk as well as not being as effective as newer medication. Blood pressure patients already face an increased risk of diabetes.
The study indicates that over 8,000 Britons per year could be getting diabetes unnecessarily as a result of the older drugs. Up to two million patients have previously been on beta-blockers at one time.
Doctors have now changed their approach, and will use newer ace inhibitors and calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure in their patients.
The Co-director of the International Centre for Circulatory Health at Imperial College London, Professor Neil Poulter, said: “Chances of a patient with raised blood pressure developing diabetes can be cut by the newer treatment irrespective of the patients initial level of risk. Many new cases of diabetes could be prevented as a result, if GPs avoid prescribing the older treatments to hypertensive patients unless they specifically require them.”
Experts stress that the benefits of the drugs outweigh the risk in some cases.

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