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      The evaluation of β-adrenoceptor blocking agents in patients with COPD and congestive heart failure: a nationwide study

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          β-Blockers are safe and improve survival in patients with both congestive heart failure (CHF) and COPD. However, the superiority of different types of β-blockers is still unclear among patients with CHF and COPD. The association between β-blockers and CHF exacerbation as well as COPD exacerbation remains unclear. The objective of this study was to compare the outcome of different β-blockers in patients with concurrent CHF and COPD.

          Patients and methods

          We used the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan to conduct a retrospective cohort study. The inclusion criteria for CHF were patients who were >20 years old and were diagnosed with CHF between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2012. COPD patients included those who had outpatient visit claims ≥2 times within 365 days or 1 claim for hospitalization with a COPD diagnosis. A time-dependent Cox proportional hazards regression model was applied to evaluate the effectiveness of β-blockers in the study population.


          We identified 1,872 patients with concurrent CHF and COPD. Only high-dose bisoprolol significantly reduced the risk of death and slightly decreased the hospitalization rate due to CHF exacerbation (death: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] =0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] =0.29–0.89; hospitalization rate due to CHF exacerbation: aHR =0.48, 95% CI =0.23–1.00). No association was observed between β-blocker use and COPD exacerbation.


          In patients with concurrent CHF and COPD, β-blockers reduced mortality, CHF exacerbation, and the need for hospitalization. Bisoprolol was found to reduce mortality and CHF exacerbation compared to carvedilol and metoprolol.

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          Most cited references 34

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          HFSA 2010 Comprehensive Heart Failure Practice Guideline.

          Heart failure (HF) is a syndrome characterized by high mortality, frequent hospitalization, reduced quality of life, and a complex therapeutic regimen. Knowledge about HF is accumulating so rapidly that individual clinicians may be unable to readily and adequately synthesize new information into effective strategies of care for patients with this syndrome. Trial data, though valuable, often do not give direction for individual patient management. These characteristics make HF an ideal candidate for practice guidelines. The 2010 Heart Failure Society of America comprehensive practice guideline addresses the full range of evaluation, care, and management of patients with HF. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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            Effect of beta-blockade on mortality among high-risk and low-risk patients after myocardial infarction.

            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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              Effect of β blockers in treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a retrospective cohort study

              Objective To examine the effect of β blockers in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), assessing their effect on mortality, hospital admissions, and exacerbations of COPD when added to established treatment for COPD. Design Retrospective cohort study using a disease specific database of COPD patients (TARDIS) linked to the Scottish morbidity records of acute hospital admissions, the Tayside community pharmacy prescription records, and the General Register Office for Scotland death registry. Setting Tayside, Scotland (2001–2010) Population 5977 patients aged >50 years with a diagnosis of COPD. Main outcome measures Hazard ratios for all cause mortality, emergency oral corticosteroid use, and respiratory related hospital admissions calculated through Cox proportional hazard regression after correction for influential covariates. Results Mean follow-up was 4.35 years, mean age at diagnosis was 69.1 years, and 88% of β blockers used were cardioselective. There was a 22% overall reduction in all cause mortality with β blocker use. Furthermore, there were additive benefits of β blockers on all cause mortality at all treatment steps for COPD. Compared with controls (given only inhaled therapy with either short acting β agonists or short acting antimuscarinics), the adjusted hazard ratio for all cause mortality was 0.28 (95% CI 0.21 to 0.39) for treatment with inhaled corticosteroid, long acting β agonist, and long acting antimuscarinic plus β blocker versus 0.43 (0.38 to 0.48) without β blocker. There were similar trends showing additive benefits of β blockers in reducing oral corticosteroid use and hospital admissions due to respiratory disease. β blockers had no deleterious impact on lung function at all treatment steps when given in conjunction with either a long acting β agonist or antimuscarinic agent Conclusions β blockers may reduce mortality and COPD exacerbations when added to established inhaled stepwise therapy for COPD, independently of overt cardiovascular disease and cardiac drugs, and without adverse effects on pulmonary function.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                26 August 2017
                : 12
                : 2573-2581
                [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, Chiali, Tainan
                [2 ]School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University
                [3 ]Department of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Chung-Yu Chen, School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100, Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan, Republic of China, Tel +886 7312 1101 ext 2375, Email jk2975525@

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Liao et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                congestive heart failure, copd, β-blockers, acute exacerbation


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