Risk for incident atrial fibrillation in patients who receive antihypertensive drugs: a nested case-control study.
Ann Intern Med. 2010 Jan 19;152(2):78-84
Authors: Schaer BA, Schneider C, Jick SS, Conen D, Osswald S, Meier CR
BACKGROUND: Different antihypertensive drug classes may alter risk for atrial fibrillation. Some studies suggest that drugs that interfere with the renin-angiotensin system may be favorable because of their effect on atrial remodeling. OBJECTIVE: To assess and compare the relative risk for incident atrial fibrillation among hypertensive patients who receive antihypertensive drugs from different classes. DESIGN: Nested case-control analysis. SETTING: The United Kingdom-based General Practice Research Database, a well-validated primary care database comprising approximately 5 million patient records. PATIENTS: 4661 patients with atrial fibrillation and 18,642 matched control participants from a population of 682,993 patients treated for hypertension. MEASUREMENTS: A comparison of the risk for atrial fibrillation among hypertensive users of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II-receptor blockers (ARBs), or beta-blockers with the reference group of users of calcium-channel blockers. Patients with clinical risk factors for atrial fibrillation were excluded. RESULTS: Current exclusive long-term therapy with ACE inhibitors (odds ratio [OR], 0.75 [95% CI, 0.65 to 0.87]), ARBs (OR, 0.71 [CI, 0.57 to 0.89]), or beta-blockers (OR, 0.78 [CI, 0.67 to 0.92]) was associated with a lower risk for atrial fibrillation than current exclusive therapy with calcium-channel blockers. LIMITATION: Blood pressure changes during treatment courses could not be evaluated, and risk for bias by indication cannot be fully excluded in an observational study. CONCLUSION: In hypertensive patients, long-term receipt of ACE inhibitors, ARBs, or beta-blockers reduces the risk for atrial fibrillation compared with receipt of calcium-channel blockers. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: None.
PMID: 20083826 [PubMed - in process]