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Eur Heart J. 2015 Jul 21;36(28):1831-8. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv143. Epub 2015 May 4.

Digoxin-associated mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Division of Clinical Electrophysiology, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
2
Department of Cardiology, Division of Clinical Electrophysiology, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany hohnloser@em.uni-frankfurt.de.

Abstract

There are conflicting data regarding the effect of digoxin use on mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) or with congestive heart failure (CHF). The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide detailed analysis of the currently available study reports. We performed a MEDLINE and a COCHRANE search (1993-2014) of the English literature dealing with the effects of digoxin on all-cause-mortality in subjects with AF or CHF. Only full-sized articles published in peer-reviewed journals were considered for this meta-analysis. A total of 19 reports were identified. Nine reports dealt with AF patients, seven with patients suffering from CHF, and three with both clinical conditions. Based on the analysis of adjusted mortality results of all 19 studies comprising 326 426 patients, digoxin use was associated with an increased relative risk of all-cause mortality [Hazard ratio (HR) 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07 to 1.38, P < 0.01]. Compared with subjects not receiving glycosides, digoxin was associated with a 29% increased mortality risk (HR 1.29; 95% CI, 1.21 to 1.39) in the subgroup of publications comprising 235 047 AF patients. Among 91.379 heart failure patients, digoxin-associated mortality risk increased by 14% (HR 1.14, 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.22). The present systematic review and meta-analysis of all available data sources suggest that digoxin use is associated with an increased mortality risk, particularly among patients suffering from AF.

KEYWORDS:

Atrial fibrillation; Congestive heart failure; Digoxin; Mortality

PMID:
25939649
DOI:
10.1093/eurheartj/ehv143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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