Long-term prescription of beta-blocker delays the progression of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in patients with hypertension: A retrospective observational cohort study

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Abstract

Background

Hypertension complicated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and diastolic dysfunction is one of the most common risks for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). This study was designed to evaluate the influences of long-term beta-blocker prescription in these patients.

Methods

This retrospective analysis included eligible patients diagnosed with hypertension, LVH (left ventricular (LV) mass index >125 g/m2 for men and >110 g/m2 for women) and suspected diastolic dysfunction (E/E' ratio between 8 and 15) and without clinical signs or symptoms of heart failure in our hospital medical record database (January 2005-December 2009). A total of eligible 1498 patients were enrolled, of whom 803 received beta-blocker prescription and 695 accepted non-beta-blocker therapy.

Results

With a median follow-up of 7.2 years, the new-onset symptomatic HFpEF occurred in 48 of 803 patients in the beta-blocker group (6.0%) and 92 of 695 patients in the non-beta-blocker group (13.2%, p < 0.001). Beta-blockers also generated more prominent improvement in diastolic function and LVH. And Cox proportional hazards model revealed that beta-blocker (hazard ratio (HR) 0.327, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.121-0.540, p = 0.009) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker (ACEI/ARB) exposure (HR 0.422, 95% CI: 0.210-0.699, p = 0.015) was associated with a reduced risk of new onset of symptomatic HFpEF, and the elevation of LVMI (HR 1.210, 95% CI: 1.069-1.362, p = 0.040) or E/E' (HR 1.398, 95% CI: 1.306-1.541, p = 0.032) was associated with a high risk of new onset of symptomatic HFpEF.

Conclusions

Long-term beta-blocker exposure was associated with protective effects in terms of the incidence of new-onset symptomatic HFpEF, LV diastolic dysfunction and LVH, which might be beneficial for the delay of HFpEF progression.

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