Effect of Race on Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction Decline After Initial Improvement with Beta Blockers in Patients with Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy: A Retrospective Analysis

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Although beta blockers (BBs) are established therapy in heart failure, some patients whose left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) initially increases on BB therapy experience a subsequent LVEF decline. This study aimed to evaluate the proportion of patients with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) whose LVEF declines while on BB therapy and determine important predictors of LVEF decline.


A retrospective analysis of 238 patients receiving a BB (carvedilol, metoprolol succinate, or tartrate), with an ejection fraction of ≤40 % and NICM, whose LVEF initially rose ≥5 % after 1 year of BB therapy, was conducted. Post-response LVEF decline ≥5 % to a final LVEF of ≤35 % was evaluated within 4 years of BB initiation.


In our study, we had 52 Caucasians (22 %), 78 Hispanics (33 %), and 108 African Americans (45 %). Overall, 32 patients (13.44 %) had post-response LVEF decline. The nadir LVEF of patients with post-response LVEF decline was 25 % (interquartile range 20–27). Compared with others, Hispanics had lower nadir LVEF (22 %, p < 0.001). Important predictors of LVEF decline were Hispanic race (odds ratio (OR) 6.094, p < 0.001), New York Heart Association (NYHA) class (OR 2.287, p < 0.05), baseline LVEF (OR 1.075, p < 0.05), and age (OR 0.933, p < 0.001).


A significant proportion (13.44 %) of NICM patients with LVEF increase over 1 year of BB therapy experienced subsequent LVEF decline. Race, NYHA class, baseline LVEF, and age are important predictors of this decline.

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