- Use of beta-blockers vs other antihypertensives was associated with markedly lower rates of COPD hospitalization and COPD mortality in a Danish population-based study.
- Link seen with both selective and nonselective beta-blockers and after excluding early years of follow-up, mitigating possible “healthy user” bias.
- Randomized clinical trial needed.
Why this matters
- Beta-blockers can cause bronchoconstriction.
- In patients with COPD, studies have linked beta-blockers to worsened symptoms and lung function but to fewer exacerbations and post-myocardial infarction deaths.
- Users of beta-blockers vs other, adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for COPD-related:
- Hospitalization: 0.80 (0.79-0.82).
- Hospitalization after first 5 years of follow-up: 0.85 (0.83-0.87).
- Death: 0.56 (0.53-0.59).
- Death after first 5 years of follow-up: 0.72 (0.67-0.78).
- Similar decreased risk of hospitalization:
- With selective vs nonselective beta-blockers.
- After stratifying for age, sex.
- Upon subgroup analyses based on comorbidities, except diabetes.
- Analysis of Danish National Patient Registry, linked prescription, death registries.
- Authors followed general population without COPD hospitalization history from 1995 to 2015, including:
- 301,542 new beta-blocker users, and
- 1,000,633 new users of non-beta-blocker antihypertensives.
- Outcomes: COPD admissions; COPD death.
- Funding: Danish nonprofits.
- No smoking data.
- May not generalize to other populations.