Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beta blockers may cause post-surgery stroke, death

From CTV News:
A common medication given to patients to prevent heart complications during and after surgery may in fact increase the risk of stroke and even death, a new Canadian study says.

The research showed that beta blockers, which help reduce the effects of stress hormones on the heart during and after surgery, reduced the risk of heart attack but increased the risk of stroke and death.

Out of the 4,174 patients who received the beta blocker metoprolol succinate prior to and for 30 days after surgery, only 176 suffered a heart attack, compared to 239 among the 4,177 patients who received a placebo.

However, patients who received the beta blocker were 33 per cent more likely to die than patients in the placebo group. As well, patients on metoprolol were twice as likely than placebo patients to suffer a stroke. ...more

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