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  1. Lamont, Linda S. PhD
  2. Markham Risica, Patricia DrPH, RD


[beta]-blocking medications are first-line therapy for young patients with uncomplicated hypertension. They are also prescribed to 55% to 80% of those discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of myocardial infarction. These drugs are known to decrease cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but they also have metabolic adverse effects. One that is not widely known is that these drugs cause a decrease in resting metabolic rate, and taking these medications may result in a small weight gain. With continued use, there is an additional difficulty with weight loss, should that be a goal in managing high blood pressure. This article reviews the available research and offers a pragmatic approach to this clinical issue