β-Blockers and All-Cause Mortality in Adults with Episodes of Acute Bronchitis: An Observational Study

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Abstract

Background:Recent observational studies suggest that β-blockers may improve long-term prognosis in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We assessed whether β-blocker use improves all-cause mortality in patients with episodes of acute bronchitis.Methods:An observational cohort study using data from the electronic medical records of 23 general practices in the Netherlands. The data included standardized information about daily patient contacts, diagnoses, and drug prescriptions. Cox regression was applied with time-varying treatment and covariates.Results:The study included 4,493 patients aged 45 years and older, with at least one episode of acute bronchitis between 1996 and 2006. The mean (SD) age of the patients was 66.9 (11.7) years, and 41.9% were male. During a mean (SD) follow up period of 7.7 (2.5) years, 20.4% developed COPD. In total, 22.7% had cardiovascular comorbidities, resulting in significant higher mortality rates than those without (51.7% vs. 12.0%, p<0.001). The adjusted hazard ratio of cardioselective β-blocker use for mortality was 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.50-0.77), and 1.01 (95% CI 0.75-1.36) for non-selective ones. Some other cardiovascular drugs also reduced the risk of mortality, with adjusted HRs of 0.60 (95% CI 0.46-0.79) for calcium channel blockers, 0.88 (95% CI 0.73-1.06) for ACE inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers, and 0.42 (95% CI 0.31-0.57) for statins, respectively.Conclusion:Cardiovascular comorbidities are common and increase the risk of mortality in adults with episodes of acute bronchitis. Cardioselective β-blockers, but also calcium channel blockers and statins may reduce mortality, possibly as a result of cardiovascular protective properties. © 2013 Rutten et al.

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Rutten, F. H., Groenwold, R. H. H., Sachs, A. P. E., Grobbee, D. E., & Hoes, A. W. (2013). β-Blockers and All-Cause Mortality in Adults with Episodes of Acute Bronchitis: An Observational Study. PLoS ONE, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067122

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