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β-Blockers May Up Risk of Surgical Complications for Some

Heightened risks of cardiovascular complications seen during non-cardiac surgeries

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking β-blockers may face heightened risks of cardiovascular complications during non-cardiac surgeries, according to a large study published online Oct. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings are based on 55,320 Danish patients who underwent a non-cardiac surgical procedure between 2005 and 2011. All were on at least two medications to control chronic hypertension, including 14,644 who were using a β-blocker.

The researchers found that, overall, patients taking β-blockers had an increased risk of major cardiovascular complications (myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes): 1.3 percent suffered one of those complications within 30 days of surgery, compared with 0.8 percent of patients on other antihypertensive medications.

It's not certain that β-blockers, themselves, are to blame, lead researcher Mads Jorgensen, M.B., of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, told HealthDay. And, he stressed, the study included only people with uncomplicated hypertension -- and not those with underlying cardiovascular conditions.

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