Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is present in approximately one-third of all congestive heart failure (CHF) patients, and is a key cause of underprescription and underdosing of β-blockers, largely owing to concerns about precipitating respiratory deterioration. For these reasons, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of β-blockers on the long-term outcomes in CHF patients with COPD. In addition, we compared the effects of two different β-blockers, carvedilol and bisoprolol.
Methods: The study was a retrospective, non-randomized, single center trial. Acute decompensated HF patients with COPD were classified according to the oral drug used at discharge into β-blocker (n=86; carvedilol [n=52] or bisoprolol [n=34]) and non-β-blocker groups (n=46). The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality between the β-blocker and non-β-blocker groups during a mean clinical follow-up of 33.9 months. The secondary endpoints were the differences in all-cause mortality and the hospitalization rates for CHF and/or COPD exacerbation between patients receiving carvedilol and bisoprolol.
Results: The mortality rate was higher in patients without β-blockers compared with those taking β-blockers (log-rank P=0.039), and univariate analyses revealed that the use of β-blockers was the only factor significantly correlated with the mortality rate (hazard ratio: 0.41; 95% confidence interval: 0.17-0.99; P=0.047). Moreover, the rate of CHF and/or COPD exacerbation was higher in patients treated with carvedilol compared with bisoprolol (log-rank P=0.033). In the multivariate analysis, only a past history of COPD exacerbation significantly increased the risk of re-hospitalization due to CHF and/or COPD exacerbation (adjusted hazard ratio: 3.11; 95% confidence interval: 1.47-6.61; P=0.003).
Conclusion: These findings support the recommendations to use β-blockers in HF patients with COPD. Importantly, bisoprolol reduced the incidence of CHF and/or COPD exacerbation compared with carvedilol.
Keywords: mortality; selective β-blocker.