Document Detail

Beta-adrenoceptor antagonists in elderly patients with chronic heart failure: therapeutic potential of third-generation agents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16536633     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a common and disabling condition with an incidence and prevalence that increase sharply with age. The median age of presentation of new heart failure cases is > 75 years. Effective treatments, including beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, have been proven in randomised, controlled trials. The average age in these placebo-controlled mortality and morbidity studies of beta-adrenoceptor antagonists in heart failure has, however, been < 63 years, and all patients with an ejection fraction > or = 40% were excluded. This lack of a representative sample of elderly patients with heart failure has raised concerns about extrapolating the available evidence for beta-adrenoceptor antagonists to a more elderly heart failure population. Beta-adrenoceptor antagonists may have a less beneficial effect or even an adverse effect in elderly heart failure patients. There is evidence that beta-adrenoceptor antagonists are less frequently prescribed in elderly CHF patients, and that this lack of treatment is associated with impaired outcomes. Establishing which beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, if any, are effective in elderly CHF is therefore of extreme importance. The elderly have a reduced cardiovascular reserve and may be less tolerant of the introduction of a vasoconstricting beta-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, the higher proportion of elderly CHF patients with relatively preserved systolic function (for which no treatment has been proven to reduce mortality and morbidity) means that we cannot say with certainty that beta-adrenoceptor antagonists have been proven to be effective in a general elderly CHF population. Third-generation beta-adrenoceptor antagonists with vasodilating actions in addition to their beta-adrenoceptor antagonist effects may offer several theoretical advantages over earlier beta-adrenoceptor antagonists for elderly CHF patients. Three of this class (carvedilol, bucindolol and nebivolol) have been evaluated with respect to their efficacy in reducing mortality and morbidity in CHF, and only two of these (carvedilol and nebivolol) had a proven outcome benefit in a properly powered randomised, controlled trial. Only the Study of the Effects of Nebivolol Intervention on Outcomes and Rehospitalisation in Seniors with Heart Failure (which used the vasodilating third-generation beta-adrenoceptor antagonist nebivolol) has prospectively investigated the treatment of CHF in elderly patients, including those with preserved systolic function, and demonstrated a significant reduction in the risk of death or cardiovascular hospitalisation. In conclusion, prescribers are advised that nebivolol should be preferred in elderly patients with CHF, because of its proven efficacy in a representative group of elderly CHF patients.
Andrew J S Coats
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Drugs & aging     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1170-229X     ISO Abbreviation:  Drugs Aging     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-15     Completed Date:  2006-09-14     Revised Date:  2013-05-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9102074     Medline TA:  Drugs Aging     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  93-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
Age Factors
Benzopyrans / therapeutic use*
Carbazoles / therapeutic use
Chronic Disease
Ethanolamines / therapeutic use*
Heart Failure / drug therapy*
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Propanolamines / therapeutic use
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Adrenergic beta-Antagonists; 0/Benzopyrans; 0/Carbazoles; 0/Ethanolamines; 0/Propanolamines; 030Y90569U/nebivolol; 0K47UL67F2/carvedilol; E9UO06K7CE/bucindolol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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