James M. Brophy, MD, PhD; Lawrence Joseph, PhD; Jean L. Rouleau, MD
Grant Support: Drs. Brophy and Joseph receive funding from Les Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec.
Requests for Single Reprints: James Brophy, MD, PhD, Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Pavillon Notre-Dame, 1560 rue Sherbrooke Est, Montreal, Quebec H2L 4M1, Canada; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Brophy: Service de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Pavillon Notre-Dame, 1560 rue Sherbrooke Est, Montreal, Quebec H2L 4M1, Canada.
Dr. Joseph: Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1A4, Canada.
Dr. Rouleau: Department of Medicine, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, Eaton North 13-212, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4, Canada.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph, J.L. Rouleau.
Drafting of the article: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph, J.L. Rouleau.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph, J.L. Rouleau.
Final approval of the article: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph, J.L. Rouleau.
Provision of study materials or patients: Statistical expertise: J.M. Brophy, L. Joseph.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: J.M. Brophy, J.L. Rouleau.
Collection and assembly of data: J.M. Brophy.
Congestive heart failure is an important cause of patient morbidity and mortality. Although several randomized clinical trials have compared β-blockers with placebo for treatment of congestive heart failure, a meta-analysis quantifying the effect on mortality and morbidity has not been performed recently.
The MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Web of Science electronic databases were searched from 1966 to July 2000. References were also identified from bibliographies of pertinent articles.
All randomized clinical trials of β-blockers versus placebo in chronic stable congestive heart failure were included.
A specified protocol was followed to extract data on patient characteristics, β-blocker used, overall mortality, hospitalizations for congestive heart failure, and study quality.
A hierarchical random-effects model was used to synthesize the results. A total of 22 trials involving 10 135 patients were identified. There were 624 deaths among 4862 patients randomly assigned to placebo and 444 deaths among 5273 patients assigned to β-blocker therapy. In these groups, 754 and 540 patients, respectively, required hospitalization for congestive heart failure. The probability that β-blocker therapy reduced total mortality and hospitalizations for congestive heart failure was almost 100%. The best estimates of these advantages are 3.8 lives saved and 4 fewer hospitalizations per 100 patients treated in the first year after therapy. The probability that these benefits are clinically significant (>2 lives saved or >2 fewer hospitalizations per 100 patients treated) is 99%. Both selective and nonselective agents produced these salutary effects. The results are robust to any reasonable publication bias.
β-Blocker therapy is associated with clinically meaningful reductions in mortality and morbidity in patients with stable congestive heart failure and should be routinely offered to all patients similar to those included in trials.
Brophy JM, Joseph L, Rouleau JL. β-Blockers in Congestive Heart Failure: A Bayesian Meta-Analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:550–560. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-134-7-200104030-00008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(7):550-560.
Cardiology, Heart Failure.
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