Effect of Beta-Blocker Dose on Survival After Acute Myocardial Infarction

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Sep 29;66(13):1431-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.047.


Background: Beta-blocker therapy after acute myocardial infarction (MI) improves survival. Beta-blocker doses used in clinical practice are often substantially lower than those used in the randomized trials establishing their efficacy.

Objectives: This study evaluated the association of beta-blocker dose with survival after acute MI, hypothesizing that higher dose beta-blocker therapy will be associated with increased survival.

Methods: A multicenter registry enrolled 7,057 consecutive patients with acute MI. Discharge beta-blocker dose was indexed to the target beta-blocker doses used in randomized clinical trials, grouped as >0% to 12.5%, >12.5% to 25%, >25% to 50%, and >50% of target dose. Follow-up vital status was assessed, with the primary endpoint of time-to-death right-censored at 2 years. Multivariable and propensity score analyses were used to account for group differences.

Results: Of 6,682 patients with follow-up (median 2.1 years), 91.5% were discharged on a beta-blocker (mean dose 38.1% of the target dose). Lower mortality was observed with all beta-blocker doses (p < 0.0002) versus no beta-blocker therapy. After multivariable adjustment, hazard ratios for 2-year mortality compared with the >50% dose were 0.862 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.677 to 1.098), 0.799 (95% CI: 0.635 to 1.005), and 0.963 (95% CI: 0.765 to 1.213) for the >0% to 12.5%, >12.5% to 25%, and >25% to 50% of target dose groups, respectively. Multivariable analysis with an extended set of covariates and propensity score analysis also demonstrated that higher doses were not associated with better outcome.

Conclusions: These data do not demonstrate increased survival in patients treated with beta-blocker doses approximating those used in previous randomized clinical trials compared with lower doses. These findings provide the rationale to re-engage in research to establish appropriate beta-blocker dosing after MI to derive optimal benefit from this therapy. (The PACE-MI Registry Study-Outcomes of Beta-blocker Therapy After Myocardial Infarction [OBTAIN]: NCT00430612).

Keywords: adrenergic beta-antagonists; follow-up studies; registries; survival analysis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Registries
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00430612