Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports

Conclusion This study aimed to see whether beta blockers reduce mortality in people who've had a heart attack but who don't have heart failure or systolic dysfunction. It found no difference between those who were and those who were not given beta-blockers on discharge from hospital. The authors say this adds to the evidence that routine prescription of beta blockers might not be needed for patients without heart failure following a heart attack. Current UK guidelines recommend all people who have had a heart attack take beta blockers for at least one year to reduce risk of recurrent events. Only people with heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction are advised to continue treatment beyond one year. However, these results suggest that even one year of treatment may not be necessary for all people. This cohort study benefits from analysis of a large number of people from England and Wales who had a heart attack using reliable national registers. However, there are a number of points to highlight: Only data on heart failure within the hospital was examined. People may have been diagnosed with heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction following discharge, therefore the cohort might have included some people with additional indications for beta blockers. Beta-blocker use was only measured according to prescription at discharge from hospital. People may have not actually taken the medication as prescribed. A study that better assessed for adherence to beta-blockers thr...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Source Type: news

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