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Am J Cardiol. 2001 Apr 1;87(7):823-6.

Comparative effects of three beta blockers (atenolol, metoprolol, and propranolol) on survival after acute myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. sgottlei@medicine.umaryland.edu


The beneficial impact of beta blockade after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is clear, but beta-adrenergic blockers differ in multiple characteristics, including lipophilicity and selectivity. The impact of these factors on the effects of beta blockade is unknown. We therefore compared the effects of different beta blockers on mortality after AMI. Charts of 201,752 patients with AMI were abstracted by the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, a quality assurance program sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration. Of the 69,338 patients prescribed beta blockers, we compared mortality of patients receiving different beta-adrenergic blockers using the Cox proportional-hazards model accounting for multiple factors that might influence survival. The mortality rates of the 2 selective agents, metoprolol and atenolol, were virtually identical (13.5% and 13.4% 2-year mortality, respectively). Compared with metoprolol, patients discharged on propranolol had a slightly increased mortality (15.9% 2-year mortality), which may be related to undetected differences at baseline. Survival with all of the drugs was superior to the 23.9% 2-year mortality seen in patients not receiving beta blockers. Beta blockade overall was associated with a 40% improvement in survival. Although the use of beta blockade after AMI has major prognostic importance, the present study suggests that the specific beta blocker chosen will have little influence on mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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