Relation of Patient Age and Mortality to Reported Contraindications to Early Beta-Blocker Use for Non-ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome

Nancy M. Allen LaPointe, Anita Y. Chen, Matthew T. Roe, David J. Cohen, Deborah B. Diercks, James W. Hoekstra, Francis M. Fesmire, W. Brian Gibler, E. Magnus Ohman, Eric D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We evaluated the reported contraindications to early β-blocker use and associated mortality within and across patient age groups. Contraindications to early β-blocker use were evaluated in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome in the Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes with Early Implementation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines (CRUSADE) initiative from February 2003 to December 2006. The prevalence, reasons, and trends in the contraindications were evaluated by age (≤65, 66 to 74, and ≥75 years). The associations between the reported contraindications and in-hospital mortality were determined within and compared across age groups using the logistic generalized estimating equations method, adjusting for baseline patient characteristics. Of 112,448 patients, 11,711 (10.4%) had a reported contraindication to early β-blocker use. The prevalence varied by age (≤65, 7.9%; 66 to 74, 10.6%; and ≥75, 13.4%; p <0.0001). No significant changes were seen over time, except for a small increase in patients ≤65 years (p = 0.001). Among the hospitals with >40 patients in the registry, the median hospital level rate of reported contraindications was 9.9% (interquartile range 6.7% to 14.3%). The distribution of rates was more widespread among the hospitals' older versus younger patients. In all age groups, a statistically significant greater association was found with in-hospital mortality in those with reported contraindications versus those without contraindications who received a β blocker (adjusted odds ratio 2.81, 95% confidence interval 2.28 to 3.46; adjusted odds ratio 2.50, 95% confidence interval 2.07 to 3.03; adjusted odds ratio 2.11, 95% confidence interval 1.88 to 2.37, for ages ≤65, 66 to 74, and ≥75 years, respectively). The strength of the association was similar across all age groups (interaction p = 0.19). The reported contraindications to early β-blocker use were common and increased with age. The contraindications were independently associated with greater in-hospital mortality, underscoring the importance of accurately identifying contraindications. In conclusion, the results did not indicate any disparity in reporting the contraindications according to patient age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1324-1329
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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