2016 funding round - Feasibility Study

Associate Professor Bob Hancox
University of Otago, Dunedin
Beta-blockers in COPD: Feasibility of an RCT in stable patients
12 months

Lay summary

Beta-blocker treatment is known to improve survival from cardiac diseases. Unfortunately, beta-blockers are usually avoided in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because of concerns that they may make airflow obstruction worse. Therefore patients with COPD are often deprived of the benefits of beta-blockers even though they have a very high risk of cardiac problems. Recent evidence suggests that beta-blockers may be safe and effective in lung disease but there have been no clinical studies to confirm this. This feasibility study will assess the safety and tolerability of metoprolol, a cardio-selective beta-blocker, in patients with COPD to determine whether a randomised controlled trial of beta-blockers should be conducted. The randomised study will provide a definitive answer on whether beta-blockers are safe and effective in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has the potential to transform treatment of COPD and widen the indications for beta-blocker treatment.

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