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Beta-blockers queried for AMI without heart failure

Tuesday May 30th, 2017

Beta-blockers may be over-prescribed to patients who suffer myocardial infarction, according to British researchers.

Researchers say there is no evidence that the drugs benefit patients who do not develop heart failure after AMI.

In the UK guidelines advise that the drugs are prescribed to all patients after AMI.

The latest research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, come from an observational study of data from 179,000 patients who suffered myocardial infarction without developing heart failure.

They found that prescribing beta-blockers seemed to make no difference to 12-month mortality rates.

Researcher Dr Marlous Hall, from Leeds University, UK, said: "If you look at the patients who had a heart attack but not heart failure - there was no difference in survival rates between those who had been prescribed beta blockers and those that had not.

"This was an observational study based on robust statistical analysis of large scale patient data. What we need now is a randomised patient trial. We were investigating one outcome - did beta blockers increase a patient's chances of survival?

"A trial would allow researchers to substantiate these findings and also look at other outcomes, such as whether beta blockers prevent future heart attacks."

Professor Chris Gale, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the university, said: "There is uncertainty in the evidence as to the benefit of beta-blockers for patients with heart attack and who do not have heart failure. This study suggests that there may be no mortality advantage associated with the prescription of beta-blockers for patients with heart attack and no heart failure.

"A necessary next step is the investigation of beta-blockers in this population in a randomised controlled trial."

Beta-Blockers and Mortality After Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients Without Heart Failure or Ventricular Dysfunction JACC June 2017; [abstract]

Tags: Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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