Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Non-selective beta-blockers may increase falls risk among older patients

  • Comment

Taking certain types of beta-blocker drug could increase older patients’ risk of falling, according to researchers who say their findings have important implications for prescribers.

The researchers, from the Netherlands, recommended that clinicians needed to bear their findings in mind when weighing up the pros and cons of different types of beta-blocker for older patients.

“Precise prediction of drug-related fall risk is of major importance”

Nathalie van der Velde

Their analysis, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, looks at data from two studies encompassing more than 10,000 people aged 55 or over.

The findings suggested that older adults using non-selective beta-blockers may be at greater risk of falling, compared to those on selective beta-blocker drugs.

More than 2,900 people from the two studies in question had experienced a fall, said the researchers from the University Medical Centre Rotterdam.

When they looked at the data, they found there was no increased risk of fall linked to taking a selective-beta blocker. But there was a 22% increased risk linked to non-selective beta-blockers.

The different classes of beta-blocker are already known to have different properties and effects on the body.

“Our study suggests that use of a non-selective beta-blocker, contrary to selective beta-blockers, is associated with an increased fall risk in an older population,” said the study authors.

“In clinical practice, beta-blockers have been shown effective for a variety of cardiovascular indications,” they noted.

“Though, fall risk should be considered when prescribing a beta-blocker in this age group, and the pros and cons for beta-blockers classes should be taken into consideration.

Senior author Dr Nathalie van der Velde, said it was important to consider the risk of falls when prescribing this type of drug used to treat conditions like angina and other heart problems.

“Drug-related falls remain under-recognised, leading to preventable falls and injury,” she said. “Precise prediction of drug-related fall risk is of major importance for clinical decision-making.

“Knowledge of type-specific effects such as selectivity in beta-blockers can be expected to improve decision making,” she added.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs