Research Article

Reduced risk of death at 28 days in patients taking a beta blocker before admission to hospital with myocardial infarction.

BMJ 1990; 300 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.300.6717.71 (Published 13 January 1990) Cite this as: BMJ 1990;300:71
  1. S M Nidorf,
  2. R W Parsons,
  3. P L Thompson,
  4. K D Jamrozik,
  5. M S Hobbs
  1. Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE--To see whether patients taking an oral beta blocker at the time of admission to hospital with myocardial infarction have a reduced risk of death at 28 days. DESIGN--Retrospective analysis of data collected on patients admitted over four years. SETTING--Community based study. PATIENTS--2430 Consecutive patients living in the Perth statistical division admitted to hospital with myocardial infarction during 1984-7. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Survival at 28 days among patients taking a beta blocker at onset of myocardial infarction. RESULTS--Patients were grouped into those who were and were not taking a beta blocker at the time of admission. Though patients taking a beta blocker were older and more likely to have a history of myocardial infarction, angina, or hypertension, the overall mortality at 28 days was similar in the two groups. A logistic regression model used to adjust for factors predictive of cardiac death at 28 days confirmed that patients taking a beta blocker at the time of admission had a significantly reduced risk of death (relative risk 0.50; 95% confidence interval 0.34 to 0.76). Though the incidence of fatal ventricular fibrillation was similar in the two groups, mean peak creatine kinase activity was significantly lower in the beta blocker group. CONCLUSIONS--These data support the value of long term use of beta blockers in patients at risk of myocardial infarction. They suggest that patients taking these agents before admission to hospital with myocardial infarction have a significant survival advantage at 28 days, which may be due to a reduction in infarct size.