Arrhythmia, hypertension, angina pectoris… Beta-blockers are indicated to treat these different diseases. These drugs reduce the workload placed on the heart. They slow down the heart rate and limit the intensity of the pressure that the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries. These treatments are also systematically prescribed after a myocardial infarction, because they avoid the occurrence of heart rhythm disorders. “However, it is uncertain whether beta-blockers have a role to play beyond the first year after heart attack in patients without heart failure or left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD),” said British and Swedish researchers.
34,253 patients were taking beta-blockers one year after their hospitalization
To find out for sure, they decided to carry out a study, the results of which were published in the journal Heart. As part of this work, the scientists used data from 43,618 adults who suffered from myocardial infarction between 2005 and 2016. After the onset of this condition, they were hospitalized. People with heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction were excluded. According to the team, 34,253 participants had been prescribed beta-blockers and were still taking the drugs one year after discharge from hospital and 9,365 had not taken the drugs.
Heart attack: “reassessing the effectiveness of long-term treatment” with beta-blockers
According to the results, taking long-term beta-blockers is not associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes over a follow-up period of approximately 4 years. 6,457 (19%) patients on beta-blockers and 2,028 (22%) those not taking them died, had another heart attack, required unscheduled revascularization or were admitted to hospital for heart failure . After controlling for potentially influencing factors, no differences in the rates of these events were observed between the two groups.
“Beta-blockers are associated with several side effects, such as depression and fatigue. Now is the time to reevaluate the effectiveness of long-term treatment with these drugs in heart attack patients who do not do not suffer from heart failure or a vital function disorder”, suggested the authors in a statement.
#longterm #betablockers #warranted