Non-selective beta-blockers are not associated with serious infections in veterans with cirrhosis
Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 407–414, August 2013
How to Cite
Bajaj, J. S., Ratliff, S. M., Heuman, D. M. and Lapane, K. L. (2013), Non-selective beta-blockers are not associated with serious infections in veterans with cirrhosis. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 38: 407–414. doi: 10.1111/apt.12382
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 26 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 20 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 30 APR 2013
- McGuire Research Institute. Grant Number: RO1DK087913
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.
To determine the effect of NSBB use on serious infections (requiring hospitalisation) in compensated and decompensated cirrhosis.
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.
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).
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.