Objectives: We evaluated the use and effectiveness of beta-blocker therapy after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) for elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma.
Background: Because patients with COPD and asthma have largely been excluded from clinical trials of beta-blocker therapy for AMI, the extent to which these patients would benefit from beta-blocker therapy after AMI is not well defined.
Methods: Using data from the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, we examined the relationship between discharge use of beta-blockers and one-year mortality in patients with COPD or asthma who were not using beta-agonists, patients with COPD or asthma who were concurrently using beta-agonists and patients with evidence of severe disease (use of prednisone or previous hospitalization for COPD or asthma) compared with patients without COPD or asthma.
Results: Of 54,962 patients without contraindications to beta-blockers, patients with COPD or asthma (20%) were significantly less likely to be prescribed beta-blockers at discharge after AMI. After adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, we found that beta-blockers were associated with lower one-year mortality in patients with COPD or asthma who were not on beta-agonist therapy (relative risk [RR] = 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73 to 1.00), similar to patients without COPD or asthma (RR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.92). A survival benefit for beta-blockers was not found among patients concurrently using beta-agonists or with severe COPD or asthma.
Conclusions: Beta-blocker therapy after AMI may be beneficial for COPD or asthma patients with mild disease. A survival benefit was not found for elderly AMI patients with more severe pulmonary disease.