(HealthDay News) — Patients taking β-blockers may face heightened risks of cardiovascular complications during non-cardiac surgeries, according to a large study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings are based on 55,320 Danish patients who underwent a non-cardiac surgical procedure between 2005 and 2011. All were on at least 2 medications to control chronic hypertension, including 14,644 who were using a β-blocker.

The researchers found that, overall, patients taking β-blockers had an increased risk of major cardiovascular complications (myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes): 1.3% suffered one of those complications within 30 days of surgery, compared with 0.8% of patients on other antihypertensive medications.

It’s not certain that β-blockers, themselves, are to blame, lead researcher Mads Jorgensen, M.B., of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, told HealthDay. And, he stressed, the study included only people with uncomplicated hypertension — and not those with underlying cardiovascular conditions.


  1. Jørgensen, ME; Hlatky, MA; Køber, L; et al. JAMA Intern Med. published online October 05, 2015; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.5346.