(HealthDay News) — Use of beta-blockers among patients with new-onset coronary heart disease appears to lower risk of cardiac events only among patients with a recent myocardial infarction, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Charlotte Andersson, MD, PhD, from Gentofte University Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues studied outcomes in 26,793 consecutive patients discharged after the first coronary heart disease (CHD) event (acute coronary syndrome or coronary revascularization) between 2000 and 2008 in an integrated health care delivery system. Included patients did not use beta-blockers in the year before entry.

The researchers found that 19,843 of the patients initiated beta-blocker treatment within 7 days of discharge from their initial CHD event. There were 6,968 patients who had an MI or died over an average of 3.7 years of follow-up. 

There was an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for mortality of 0.90 with the use of beta-blockers (95% confidence limits, 0.84-0.96), and an adjusted HR for death or MI of 0.92 (95% confidence limits, 0.87-0.97). 

There was a significant difference in the association between beta-blockers and outcomes between patients with and without a recent MI (HR for death=0.85 vs. 1.02; P=.007; and HR for death or MI: 0.87 vs. 1.03; P=.005).

“Use of beta-blockers among patients with new-onset CHD was associated with a lower risk of cardiac events only among patients with a recent MI,” the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Andersson C et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(3):247-252.