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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Mar 15;33(4):916-23.

Beta-adrenergic blocking agent use and mortality in patients with asymptomatic and symptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction: a post hoc analysis of the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction.

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Clinical Trials Scientific Research Group, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.



This analysis was performed to assess whether beta-adrenergic blocking agent use is associated with reduced mortality in the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) and to determine if this relationship is altered by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use.


The ability of beta-blockers to alter mortality in patients with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction is not well defined. Furthermore, the effect of beta-blocker use, in addition to an ACE inhibitor, on these patients has not been fully addressed.


This retrospective analysis evaluated the association of baseline beta-blocker use with mortality in 4,223 mostly asymptomatic Prevention trial patients, and 2,567 symptomatic Treatment trial patients.


The 1,015 (24%) Prevention trial patients and 197 (8%) Treatment trial patients receiving beta-blockers had fewer symptoms, higher ejection fractions and different use of medications than patients not receiving beta-blockers. On univariate analysis, beta-blocker use was associated with significantly lower mortality than nonuse in both trials. Moreover, a synergistic reduction in mortality with use of both a beta-blocker and enalapril was suggested in the Prevention trial. After adjusting for important prognostic variables with Cox multivariate analysis, the association of beta-adrenergic blocking agent use with reduced mortality remained significant for Prevention trial patients receiving enalapril. Lower rates of arrhythmic and pump failure death and risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure were observed.


The combination of a beta-blocker and enalapril was associated with a synergistic reduction in the risk of death in the SOLVD Prevention trial.

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