Beware Beta-Blocker Withdrawal

January 16, 2012

In a look at over 8000 patients in the State of Washington, researchers found that failure to continue beta-blocker treatment perioperatively among patients having general surgery (bariatric and colon surgeries) was associated with nearly two-fold the risk of 90 day combined adverse effects (odds ratio, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.19-3.26). Patients with higher cardiac risk had even greater associations. Adverse effects included death and cardiac complications. This risk continued to be elevated one year postoperatively.

Beta-blocker continuation is a quality measure for all surgeries. This research has provided the largest support for this quality measure and extends its importance to non-cardiac and non-vascular surgical populations.

Link to abstract in Archives of Surgery

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