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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Beta Blockers  -  'a very honest mistake'

An entirely unwarranted assumption made by the medical profession more than 10 years ago that beta blockers would be effective in treating high blood pressure - even though they had never been tested against other drugs - may have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, new research revealed this week.  (The Independent, 31st, October 2005).

In a review of trials involving 105,000 people, it was found that beta blockers were only half as effective as other drugs in treating hypertension. 

The study found that beta blockers reduced the risk of strokes by 19 per cent, whilst other treatments such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers reduced the risk by 38 per cent.

The study also found that the overall death rate among those on beta blockers was 3 per cent higher.

The study leader, Professor Lars Lindholm of the University of Umea in Sweden described the error as 'a very honest mistake'. . . which must be scant consolation for the families of anyone who died as a result of being prescribed beta blockers.

9:16:23 PM    comment []

Does the U.S. REALLY have the best medical care in the world????
As we're always being told....
Well, here's where we rate Number One worldwide:

A new study shows that U.S. leads way in medical errors, and costs!
Patients in the United States reported higher rates of medical errors and
more disorganized doctor visits and out-of-pocket costs than people in
Canada, Britain and three other developed countries, according to a
survey just released. 
Thirty-four percent of U.S. patients received wrong
medication, improper treatment or incorrect or delayed test results
during the last two years, the Commonwealth Fund found.

Thirty percent of Canadian patients reported similar medical errors,
followed by 27 percent of those in Australia, 25 percent in New Zealand,
23 percent in Germany and 22 percent in Britain, the health care
foundation said.


9:02:59 PM    comment []

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