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Endothelial dysfunction is more prevalent in African Americans (AAs) compared with whites. The authors hypothesized that nebivolol, a selective β1 -antagonist that stimulates nitric oxide (NO), will improve endothelial function in AAs with hypertension when compared with metoprolol. In a double-blind, randomized, crossover study, 19 AA hypertensive patients were randomized to a 12-week treatment period with either nebivolol 10 mg or metoprolol succinate 100 mg daily. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured using plethysmography at rest and after intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside to estimate endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilation, respectively. Physiologic vasodilation was assessed during hand-grip exercise. Measurements were repeated after NO blockade with L-N(G) -monomethylarginine (L-NMMA) and after inhibition of endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) with tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA). NO blockade with L-NMMA produced a trend toward greater vasoconstriction during nebivolol compared with metoprolol treatment (21% vs 12% reduction in FBF, P=.06, respectively). This difference was more significant after combined administration of L-NMMA and TEA (P<.001). Similarly, there was a contribution of NO to exercise-induced vasodilation during nebivolol but not during metoprolol treatment. There were significantly greater contributions of NO and EDHF to resting vasodilator tone and of NO to exercise-induced vasodilation with nebivolol compared with metoprolol in AAs with hypertension.


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Originally published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.



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