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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a novel beta-blocker, Carvedilol, in 1094 patients with symptomatic heart failure demonstrated a significant reduction in mortality and morbidity in the treatment group.

Patients had ejection fractions of <35%. Their current anti-failure treatment was not altered. Follow-up averaged 6.5 months.

The reduction in risk of death attributable to Carvedilol was 65% (95% confidence interval: 39-80%).

The reduction in risk of death or hospitalisation for cardiovascular causes attributable to Carvedilol was 38% (95% confidence interval: 18-53%).

The Cardiac Insufficiency Bisoprolol Study II (CIBIS-II) also studied the use of a beta-blocker, bisoprolol, in patients with heart failure.

  • study involved 2647 patients who had an ejection fraction less than 35%. Patients were randomised to bisoprolol or placebo; all patients were on diuretics and ACE inhibitor
  • study revealed a 32% reduction in all-cause mortality in patients on bisoprolol


  • Packer, M. et al. (1996). The effect of Carvedilol on morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure. New Engl. J. Med. 334, 1349-55. CIBIS-II investigators and Committee (1999). The Cardiac Insufficiency Bisoprolol Study II (CIBIS-II). Lancet, 352, 9-13.

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