Estoril, Portugal—A common cardiology drug is showing promise in reducing the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. A presentation at the European Respiratory Society’s Lung Science Conference in Estoril discussed why beta-blockers, primarily used to treat heart issues or stress, have shown beneficial effects in COPD treatment, although they are suspected of tightening airway muscles. For the study led by Ghent University Hospital researchers, health records of 1,621 COPD patients were analyzed, including any use of beta-blockers. Results of the Rotterdam Study suggest that the use of cardio-selective beta-blockers reduced the relative risk of exacerbations by 21%. Benefits were even greater for patients with heart failure, with a risk reduction of 55%. Study authors call for randomized controlled trials to see if the clinical implications continue to be positive.
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