Effect of Beta-Blockade on Mortality among High-Risk and Low-Risk Patients after Myocardial Infarction

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 09/1998; 339(8):489-97. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199808203390801
Source: PubMed


Long-term administration of beta-adrenergic blockers to patients after myocardial infarction improves survival. However, physicians are reluctant to administer beta-blockers to many patients, such as older patients and those with chronic pulmonary disease, left ventricular dysfunction, or non-Q-wave myocardial infarction.
The medical records of 201,752 patients with myocardial infarction were abstracted by the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, which was sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration. Using a Cox proportional-hazards model that accounted for multiple factors that might influence survival, we compared mortality among patients treated with beta-blockers with mortality among untreated patients during the two years after myocardial infarction.
A total of 34 percent of the patients received beta-blockers. The percentage was lower among the very elderly, blacks, and patients with the lowest ejection fractions, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, elevated serum creatinine concentrations, or type 1 diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, mortality was lower in every subgroup of patients treated with beta-blockade than in untreated patients. In patients with myocardial infarction and no other complications, treatment with beta-blockers was associated with a 40 percent reduction in mortality. Mortality was also reduced by 40 percent in patients with non-Q-wave infarction and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Blacks, patients 80 years old or older, and those with a left ventricular ejection fraction below 20 percent, serum creatinine concentration greater than 1.4 mg per deciliter (124 micromol per liter), or diabetes mellitus had a lower percentage reduction in mortality. Given, however, the higher mortality rates in these subgroups, the absolute reduction in mortality was similar to or greater than that among patients with no specific risk factors.
After myocardial infarction, patients with conditions that are often considered contraindications to beta-blockade (such as heart failure, pulmonary disease, and older age) and those with nontransmural infarction benefit from beta-blocker therapy.

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    • "Traditional dogma has stated that beta blockers are contraindicated in COPD because of their bronchoconstrictive properties and “competition” with beta-2 agonists.32 Therefore many physicians have avoided prescribing beta blockers in patients with COPD.33,34 "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) frequently coexist in the same patient, especially in the elderly. Today, a wide variety of antihypertensive drugs with different mechanisms of action are available to the prescribing physician. In addition, combination drugs for hypertension are becoming increasingly popular. Certain antihypertensive drugs can affect pulmonary function. Therefore the management of such patients can present therapeutic challenges. We have examined the literature pertaining to the use of antihypertensive drugs in patients with systemic hypertension and coexisting COPD. Although data are often limited or of poor quality, we have attempted to review and then provide recommendations regarding the use of all the specific classes of antihypertensive drug therapies including combination drugs in patients with COPD. The antihypertensive agents reviewed include diuretics, aldosterone receptor blockers, beta blockers, combined alpha and beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonists, calcium channel blockers, alpha-1 blockers, centrally acting drugs, direct vasodilators, and combinations of these drugs. Of these classes, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin II antagonists appear to be the best initial choices if hypertension is the only indication for treatment. However, the limited data available on many of these drugs suggest that additional studies are needed to more precisely determine the best treatment choices in this widely prevalent patient group.
    Integrated Blood Pressure Control 07/2013; 6:101-9. DOI:10.2147/IBPC.S33982
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    • "Catecholamines are known to cause arrhythmias (e.g. Tomaselli and Zipes, 2004), and beta-blockers that inhibit activation of beta-receptors by catecholamines are known to reduce cardiovascular mortality including sudden cardiac death (Gottlieb et al., 1998, Rubart and Zipes, 2005; Tomaselli and Zipes, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sudden cardiac death is a significant health issue, causing millions of deaths worldwide annually. Studies have found that the likelihood of such death is higher in winter. Further studies identified that the highest likelihood occurs on Christmas Day and New Years Day, but not the interim period. Thanksgiving, Independence Day and the Islamic holiday Eid Al-Fitr also show significant increases in the rate of cardiac events or death. A number of mechanisms have been proposed, but none have satisfactorily explained the evidence. This article reviews the data supporting the existence of a holiday cardiac death phenomenon, the involvement of catecholamines and the normal modes of human catecholamine deactivation. Further evidence is reviewed that supports a hypothesized mechanism whereby critical SULT1A catecholamine deactivation enzymes can in some patients be inhibited by naturally-occurring phenols and polyphenols in foods and alcohols. If deactivation is inhibited by holiday consumption excesses, holiday stress or excitement could lead to a buildup of catecholamines that can cause fatal arrhythmias. Awareness of this mechanism could reduce deaths, both through doctor/patient education leading to a moderation in consumption and through the potential identification of patients with a predisposition to SULT1A inhibition. This hypothesis also raises parallels between sudden cardiac death in adults and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The possible involvement of SULT1A inhibition in SIDS is discussed.
    Journal of Applied Toxicology 10/2012; 32(10):751-5. DOI:10.1002/jat.2764 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    • "Our results indicate a high degree of heterogeneity among the included studies (Figure 2). In a sensitivity analysis, we identified one study [11] as the source of heterogeneity. Exclusion of this study from the analysis removed the study heterogeneity (I2=29%, P=0.20) while the pooled RR stayed significantly protective (RR=0.74, "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite the benefits of beta-blockers in patients with established or sub-clinical coronary artery disease, their use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been controversial. Currently, no systematic review has examined the impact of beta-blockers on mortality in COPD. Methods We systematically searched electronic bibliographic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library for clinical studies that examine the association between beta-blocker use and all cause mortality in patients with COPD. Risk ratios across studies were pooled using random effects models to estimate a pooled relative risk across studies. Publication bias was assessed using a funnel plot. Results Our search identified nine retrospective cohort studies that met the study inclusion criteria. The pooled relative risk of COPD related mortality secondary to beta-blocker use was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.62-0.78; I2=82%). Conclusion The results of this review are consistent with a protective effect of beta-blockers with respect to all cause mortality. Due to the observational nature of the included studies, the possibility of confounding that may have affected these results cannot be excluded. The hypothesis that beta blocker therapy might be of benefit in COPD needs to be evaluated in randomised controlled trials.
    BMC Pulmonary Medicine 09/2012; 12(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1471-2466-12-48 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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