BACKGROUND: Rate-control medications are considered first-line treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). However, obstructive lung disease (OLD), a condition prevalent in those with AF, often makes it difficult to use those medications because of the lack of studies on new-onset AF in patients with OLD.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical outcomes after administration of each class of rate-control medication in patients with concomitant AF and OLD (AF-OLD).
METHODS: This study used the entire database provided by the National Health Insurance Service from 2002 to 2015. Risk of all-cause mortality was compared between use of calcium channel blocker (CCB) and use of other drug classes in AF-OLD patients using Cox regression analyses after propensity score matching.
RESULTS: Among the 13,111 patients, the number of AF-OLD patients treated with a CCB, cardioselective beta-blocker (BB), nonselective BB, and digoxin was 2482, 2379, 2255, and 5995, respectively. The risk of mortality was lower with use of selective BB (hazard ratio [HR] 0.84: 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.75-0.94: P = .002) and nonselective BB (HR 0.85: 95% CI 0.77-0.95: P = .003) compared to use of CCBs. Digoxin use was related with worse survival, with marginal statistical significance (HR 1.09: 95% CI 1.00-1.18: P = .053).
CONCLUSION: Among patients with AF-OLD, rate-control treatment using selective and nonselective BB was associated with a significant reduction in mortality compared with CCB use. Further prospective randomized trials are required to confirm these findings.
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