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INTRODUCTION: While beta-blockers are considered the cornerstone of treatment for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the same may not apply to patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). To date, the benefit of beta-blockers remains uncertain, and there is no current consensus on their effectiveness. This study sought to evaluate the efficacy of beta-blockers on mortality and rehospitalization among patients with HFpEF. METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized or observational cohort studies examined the efficacy of beta-blocker therapy in comparison with placebo, control, or standard medical care in patients with HFpEF, defined as left ventricular ejection fraction ≥50%. The main endpoints were mortality (i.e., all-cause and cardiovascular), rehospitalization (i.e., all-cause and for heart failure) and a composite of the two. RESULTS: Out of the 13,189 records initially identified, 16 full-text records met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed recruiting a total of 27,188 patients. The mean age range was 62 - 84 years old, predominantly female, with HFpEF in which 63.4% patients received a beta-blocker and 36.6% did not. The pooled analysis of included cohort studies, of variable follow-up durations, showed a significant reduction in all-cause mortality by 19% (odds ratio (OR) 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65-0.99, p=0.044) whereas rehospitalization for heart failure (OR 1.13; 95% CI: 0.91-1.41, p=0.27) or its composite with all-cause mortality (OR 1.01; 95% CI: 0.78-1.32, p=0.92) were similar between the beta-blocker and control groups. CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis showed that beta-blocker has the potential to reduce all-cause mortality in patients with HFpEF based on observational studies. Nevertheless, rehospitalization for heart failure or its composite with all-cause mortality. Large scale randomized trials are needed to clarify this uncertainty.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Probl Cardiol

Publication Date



HFpEF, adrenergic beta-antagonists, bisoprolol, carvedilol, diastolic dysfunction, metoprolol, nebivolol