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37 Effect of beta-andrenergic blockade on weight changes in chronic heart failure patients due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction
  1. Shirley Sze1,
  2. Pierpaolo Pellicori2,
  3. Syed Kamzi1,
  4. Alexandru Anton1,
  5. Andrew Clark1
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Castle Hill Hospital, Hull York Medical School
  2. 2Robertson Centre for Biostatistics and Clinical Trials, University of Glasgow and National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK


Background Weight loss is common in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and is associated with adverse outcome. Activation of the sympathetic nervous system has been implicated in weight loss, wasting and cachexia. However, the effect of sympathetic antagonism on weight change in patients with CHF is not well defined.

Methods We evaluated changes in body weight, the incidence of cachexia (weight loss >6%) and significant weight gain (>5%) in unselected patients with CHF due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) (LV ejection fraction (LVEF) <40%) and studied the effect of beta-blockade on weight change.

Results Of the 1480 patients enrolled (median NTproBNP: 1651 ng/L, median LVEF:31%), 61% and 25% were initiated on beta-blocker at baseline (BL) and 1 year respectively, 11% never had beta-blocker and 3% discontinued beta-blocker between BL and 1 year.

Patients who never had beta-blocker were more likely to develop cachexia (23% vs 10%, p<0.001) and less likely to have significant weight gain (22% vs 24%, p<0.001) than patient who were started on beta-blocker at BL. (figure)

During a median follow up of 1876 days (IQR: 993–3052 days), 894 (60%) patients died. Higher body mass index (BMI) at baseline, weight gain and beta-blocker therapy were associated with better outcome. Patients who had all 3 features: beta-blocker therapy, baseline BMI >25 and significant weight gain had the best outcome (22% mortality at 5 years) (table 1).

Conclusion Patients with CHF due to LVSD who receive beta-blocker were less likely to develop cachexia and more likely to have significant weight gain and better outcome compared to patients who did not receive or tolerate beta-blocker.

Abstract 37 Table 1

  • cachexia
  • weight change
  • beta-blocker

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