Boston—Increasing evidence supports the use of beta-blockers (BBs) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular diseases, according to a study published recently in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. A team led by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School sought to examine the risk of overall death and cardiovascular outcomes associated with use of cardioselective BBs using an active comparison, incident cohort approach. To do so, they identified nearly 108,000 COPD patients initiating cardioselective BBs or nondihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCBs) between 2007 and 2011 in a population-based Taiwan database. Results indicate that cardioselective BBs were associated with a modest, lower risk of overall death with a hazard ratio of 0.85. The reduced risk of overall death, however, was affected by COPD severity and was easily weakened with lower prevalence of severe COPD patients in the initiators of cardioselective BBs and higher prevalence of severe COPD patients in the initiators of nondihydropyridine CCBs, study authors point out.

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