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Beta-blocker under-use in COPD patients

Authors Lim KP, Loughrey S, Musk M, Lavender M, Wrobel JP

Received 19 June 2017

Accepted for publication 8 September 2017

Published 17 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3041—3046


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Kuan Pin Lim,1,2 Sarah Loughrey,1 Michael Musk,1,2 Melanie Lavender,1,2 Jeremy P Wrobel1–3

1Advanced Lung Disease Unit, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia; 2Respiratory Department, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, WA, Australia; 3School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA, Australia

Background: Cardiovascular (CVS) comorbidities are common in COPD and contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality, especially following acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD). Beta-blockers (BBs) are safe and effective in COPD patients, with demonstrated survival benefit following myocardial infarction. We sought to determine if BBs are under-prescribed in patients hospitalized with AECOPD. We also sought to determine inpatient rates of CVS and cerebrovascular complications, and their impact on patient outcomes.
Methods: Retrospective hospital data was collected over a 12-month period. The medical records of all patients >40 years of age coded with a diagnosis of AECOPD were analyzed. Prevalent use and incident initiation of BBs were assessed. Comorbidities including indications and contraindications for BB use were analyzed.
Results: Of the 366 eligible patients, 156 patients (42.6%) had at least one indication for BB use – of these patients, only 53 (34.0%) were on BB therapy and 61 (39.1%) were not on BB therapy but had no listed contraindication. Prevalent use of BBs at the time of admission in all 366 patients was 19.7%, compared with 45.6%, 39.6% and 45.9% use of anti-platelets, statins and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blockers, respectively. CVS and cerebrovascular complications were common in this population (57 patients, 16%) and were associated with longer length of stay (p<0.01) and greater inpatient mortality (p=0.02).
Conclusions: BBs are under-prescribed in COPD patients despite clear indication(s) for their use. Further work is required to explore barriers to BB prescribing in COPD patients.

Keywords: COPD exacerbations, beta-blockers, cardiovascular, comorbidity

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