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Impact of selective and nonselective beta-blockers on the risk of severe exacerbations in patients with COPD

Authors Huang YL, Lai CC, Wang YH, Wang CY, Wang JY, Wang HC, Yu CJ, Chen LW

Received 9 July 2017

Accepted for publication 18 August 2017

Published 11 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2987—2996

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S145913

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Chunxue Bai

Yueh Lan Huang,1 Chih-Cheng Lai,2 Ya-Hui Wang,3 Cheng-Yi Wang,1 Jen-Yu Wang,1 Hao-Chien Wang,4 Chong-Jen Yu,4 Likwang Chen5

On behalf of the Taiwan Clinical Trial Consortium for Respiratory Diseases (TCORE)

1Department of Internal Medicine, Cardinal Tien Hospital and School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 2Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, Liouying, Tainan, 3Medical Research Center, Cardinal Tien Hospital and School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, 4Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 5Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan

Background: There is conflicting information regarding the effects of selective and nonselective beta-blocker treatment in patients with COPD.
Participants and methods: This nested case–control study used the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. We included COPD patients who used inhalation steroid and beta-blockers between 1998 and 2010. From this cohort, there were 16,067 patients with severe exacerbations included in the analysis and 55,970 controls matched on age, sex, COPD diagnosis year, and beta-blockers treatment duration by risk set sampling.
Results: For the selective beta-blocker users, the current users had a lower risk of severe exacerbations than the nonusers (odds ratio [OR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85–0.96). In contrast, for the nonselective beta-blocker users, the current users had a higher risk of severe acute exacerbations than the nonusers (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.14–1.27). A higher risk of severe exacerbation during increasing mean daily dose or within about the initial 300 days was found in nonselective beta-blockers, but not in selective beta-blockers. One selective beta-blocker, betaxolol, had a significantly lower risk of severe exacerbations (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60–0.95). Two nonselective beta-blockers (labetalol and propranolol) were associated with a significantly higher risk of exacerbations (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.32–1.67 for labetalol; OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10–1.23 for propranolol).
Conclusion: Selective beta-blockers can be cautiously prescribed for patients with COPD and cardiovascular disease (CVD), however, nonselective beta-blockers should not be prescribed for patients with COPD. Betaxolol may be the preferred choice of suitable selective beta-blocker for patients with COPD, however, labetalol and propranolol should be avoided for patients with COPD.

Keywords: beta-blocker, COPD, selective, nonselective

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