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BACKGROUND: In patients with heart failure, beta-blockade has improved morbidity and left-ventricular function, but the impact on survival is uncertain. We investigated the efficacy of bisoprolol, a beta1 selective adrenoceptor blocker in decreasing all-cause mortality in chronic heart failure. METHODS: In a multicentre double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial in Europe, we enrolled 2647 symptomatic patients in New York Heart Association class III or IV, with left-ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less receiving standard therapy with diuretics and inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme. We randomly assigned patients bisoprolol 1.25 mg (n=1327) or placebo (n=1320) daily, the drug being progressively increased to a maximum of 10 mg per day. Patients were followed up for a mean of 1.3 years. Analysis was by intention to treat. FINDINGS: CIBIS-II was stopped early, after the second interim analysis, because bisoprolol showed a significant mortality benefit. All-cause mortality was significantly lower with bisoprolol than on placebo (156 [11.8%] vs 228 [17.3%] deaths with a hazard ratio of 0.66 (95% CI 0.54-0.81, p<0.0001). There were significantly fewer sudden deaths among patients on bisoprolol than in those on placebo (48 [3.6%] vs 83 [6.3%] deaths), with a hazard ratio of 0.56 (0.39-0.80, p=0.0011). Treatment effects were independent of the severity or cause of heart failure. INTERPRETATION: Beta-blocker therapy had benefits for survival in stable heart-failure patients. Results should not, however, be extrapolated to patients with severe class IV symptoms and recent instability because safety and efficacy has not been established in these patients.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Lancet

Publication Date

02/01/1999

Volume

353

Pages

9 - 13

Keywords

Adrenergic beta-Antagonists, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Bisoprolol, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Double-Blind Method, Drug Administration Schedule, Heart Failure, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Severity of Illness Index, Stroke Volume, Survival Analysis