The majority of individuals with pre-diabetic states eventually appear to develop diabetes mellitus. During the pre-diabetic state, that may last many years, the risk of cardiovascular disease is modestly increased, with impaired glucose tolerance being slightly stronger predictor for future cardiovascular disease than impaired fasting glucose. The role of different antihypertensive drugs in the acceleration or the delay of diabetes onset is controversial. Agents that interrupt the renin-angiotensin system, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers are likely to be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes, while calcium channel blockers are thought to act metabolically neutral. In contrast, diuretics or β-blockers, and especially their combination, are thought to increase the incidence of diabetes. Carvedilol, a non-selective β-blocker with α1-blocking properties, and nebivolol, a third-generation highly selective β1- blocker with additional endothelial nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilator activity have been shown to have a favorable effect on glucose metabolism compared with others β-blockers. Nevertheless, the key goal still remains to reduce blood pressure, which may require combination of different antihypertensive drug classes. Changes from diuretics and β- blockers to renin-angiotensin system inhibitors certainly have cost implications. However, treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers may be cheaper in the long run, due to less risk of newonset diabetes and other metabolic disturbances. Thus, for patients with pre-diabetes it is wise to choose medications with the least diabetogenic potential and until more data are available, it seems prudent to restrict use of diuretics and classic β- blockers.
Keywords: Pre-diabetes, insulin sensitivity, hypertension, antihypertensive treatment, renin-angiotensin system, cardiovascular disease, impaired glucose tolerance, endothelial nitric oxide, angiotensin receptor blockers, oral glucose tolerance test
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