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Am J Cardiol. 2010 Jan 15;105(2):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.08.677.

Relation of beta-blocker use with frequency of hospitalization for heart failure in patients with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (from the Heart and Soul Study).

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  • 1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Heart failure (HF) is a common public health problem, and many new cases are now recognized to occur in patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. beta Blockers improve the outcomes of patients with known left ventricular systolic dysfunction, but whether beta blockers provide similar protection among patients with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is unclear. We studied the association between use of beta blockers and subsequent hospitalization for HF in patients with diastolic dysfunction and stable coronary heart disease. We evaluated medication use and performed echocardiography at baseline in a prospective cohort of 911 outpatients with known coronary heart disease from the Heart and Soul Study. Hospitalizations for HF were assessed by blinded review of the medical records during an average follow-up of 5.2 years. Of the 911 participants, 118 (13%) had diastolic dysfunction, of whom 2 were lost to follow-up. Of the 116 remaining patients, 19 (25%) of the 77 using beta blockers were hospitalized for HF compared to 16 (41%) of the 39 not using beta blockers (age-adjusted hazard ratio 0.51, 95% confidence interval 0.26 to 1.00; p = 0.05). This association remained after additional adjustment for gender, smoking, history of myocardial infarction, diabetes, and creatinine (hazard ratio 0.46, 95% confidence interval 0.23 to 0.93; p = 0.03). The results were similar after excluding 31 participants with a history of self-reported HF (hazard ratio 0.33, 95% confidence interval 0.13 to 0.86; p = 0.02) and 24 participants with concurrent systolic dysfunction (hazard ratio 0.36, 95% confidence interval 0.14 to 0.89; p = 0.03). In conclusion, the use of beta blockers is associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization for HF in patients with diastolic dysfunction and stable coronary heart disease.

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