To compare survival on different beta-blockers in heart failure.Methods and results
We identified all Danish patients ≥35 years of age who were hospitalized with a first admission for heart failure and who initiated treatment with a beta-blocker within 60 days of discharge. The study period was 1995–2011. The main outcome was all-cause mortality and all-cause hospitalization. Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare survival. The study included 58 634 patients of whom 30.121 (51.4%) died and 46.990 (80.1%) were hospitalized during follow-up. The mean follow-up time was 4.1 years. In an unadjusted model carvedilol was associated with a lower mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 0.737, 0.714–0.761] compared with metoprolol (reference) while bisoprolol was not associated with an increased mortality (HR 1.020, 0.973–1.069). In a model adjusted for possible confounders and stratified according to beta-blocker dosages, patients that received high-dose carvedilol (≥50 mg daily) had a lower all-cause mortality risk (HR 0.873, 0.789–0.966) than patients receiving high-dose (≥200 mg daily) metoprolol (reference). High-dose bisoprolol (≥10 mg daily) was associated with a greater risk of death (HR 1.125, 1.004–1.261). High-dose carvedilol was associated with significantly lower all-cause hospitalization risk (HR 0.842, 0.774–0.915) than high-dose metoprolol (reference), while high-dose bisoprolol had insignificantly lower risk than high-dose metoprolol (HR 0.948, 0.850–1.057).Conclusions
Heart failure patients receiving high-dose carvedilol (≥50 mg daily) showed significantly lower all-cause mortality risk and hospitalization risk, compared with other beta-blockers.