A study recently published in The Lancet has explored the possible influence of β-blockers upon the risk of COPD. In this huge study, researchers compared 301,542 new users of β-blockers to 1,000,633 new users of any other antihypertensive drugs (aged 30–90 years without any history of COPD hospitalizations), looking for incident admissions for COPD or COPD death between the years 1995-2015. Those treated with β-blockers continuously for more than 6 months had a lower risk of COPD hospitalization during follow-up compared to people treated with any other antihypertensive drugs (adjusted hazard ratio [HRadjusted] 0·80, 95% CI 0·79–0·82). Risk of COPD hospitalization was lowered in the groups treated with β-blockers among patients with ischemic heart disease (0·72, 0·69–0·75), cardiac arrhythmias (0·76, 0·72–0·80), asthma (0·69, 0·61–0·79), hypertension (0·91, 0·86–0·96), and diseases of the pulmonary circulation (pulmonary embolism and cor pulmonale) (0·72, 0·59–0·87). All-cause mortality as well as risk of COPD death during follow-up was lower in the group treated with β-blockers compared to the group treated with any other antihypertensive drugs (0·56, 0·53–0·59). This landmark study appears to indicate that treatment with β-blockers actually seems to reduce risk of COPD hospitalization and mortality compared to treatment with any other antihypertensive drugs, at odds with previous concerns that have often shaped prescribing of these drugs.
Big study finds that β-blockers don’t increase the risk of COPD
Feb 1, 2019