Background: Beta blockers were shown to prevent SCD in cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease patients. Dialysis patients show elevated mortality rates, predominantly due to cardiovascular disease. SCD is now one of the leading causes of death in this population. However, the prevention of SCD remains to be elucidated.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 316 patients from a database of all patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis and followed up for 4.9 years. All patients were followed-up until death. Cox regression analysis was used to adjust the hazard ratio for beta blocker use with time until death.
Results: SCD occurred during the study period in 3 (3.8%) patients in the beta blocker group and in 27 (11.4%) patients in the non-beta blocker group (P=0.047). Death from all causes occurred in 15 (18.8%) patients in the beta blocker group and in 97 (41.3%) patients in the non-beta blocker group (P<0.001). Kaplan-Meier curve showed that the rates of both SCD and all-cause death were lower in the beta blocker group (log-rank test, P=0.028 and P<0.001, respectively). In the Cox regression model, beta blocker use was significantly associated with lower adjusted risk of SCD (multivariate adjusted hazard ratio, 0.201; 95% confidence interval, 0.058-0.693; P=0.011).
Conclusion: In hemodialysis patients, beta blocker use was associated with lower risks of SCD and death from all causes. Thus, beta blocker use in this high-risk population may substantially improve outcome.
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