Non-selective beta-blockers are not associated with serious infections in veterans with cirrhosis.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jun 20;
Authors: Bajaj JS, Ratliff SM, Heuman DM, Lapane KL
BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating outcomes associated with non-selective beta-blockers (NSBB) in cirrhosis have yielded mixed results. A major cause of death in decompensated cirrhosis is infection.
AIM: To determine the effect of NSBB use on serious infections (requiring hospitalisation) in compensated and decompensated cirrhosis.
METHODS: Using data from the US Veterans Health Administration from 2001-2009, we identified two cohorts: compensated cirrhotics (n = 12 656) and decompensated cirrhotics (n = 4834). From each cohort, we identified new NSBB users and propensity-matched them 1:1 to non-users (n = 1836 each in compensated users/non-users and n = 1462 each in decompensated users/non-users). They were followed up for serious infections (median time: 3.1 years), death and transplant. We estimated adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from Cox regression models.
RESULTS: Death or transplantation occurred in 0.7% compensated and 2.7% of decompensated patients. Among decompensated cirrhotics, death (P = 0.0061) and transplantation (P = 0.0086) occurred earlier in NSBB users compared with non-users. Serious infections were observed in 4.8% of compensated cirrhotics and in 13.7% of decompensated cirrhotics. There was no difference in the rate of serious infection development in new NSBB users compared with non-users in the compensated (adjusted HR: 0.90, CI: 0.59-1.36) or in the decompensated group (adjusted HR: 1.10, CI: 0.96-1.25).
CONCLUSION: The use of non-selective beta-blockers in U.S. veterans is not associated with an increased rate of serious infections in compensated or decompensated cirrhosis.
PMID: 23786291 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]