COPD and hypertension both increase the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF). Current clinical trials do not inform the selection of combination antihypertensive therapy among patients with COPD. We performed a comparative effectiveness study to investigate whether choice of dual agent antihypertensive therapy is associated with risk of hospitalization for CHF among patients with these two conditions.
We identified a cohort of 7,104 patients with COPD and hypertension receiving care within Veterans Administration hospitals between January 2001 and December 2006, with follow-up through April 2009. We included only patients prescribed two antihypertensive medications. We used Cox proportional hazard models for statistical analysis.
Compared with β-blockers plus an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker, patients prescribed a thiazide diuretic plus a β-blocker (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.49; 95% CI, 0.32-0.75), a thiazide plus an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin II receptor blocker (adjusted HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.35-0.71), and a thiazide plus a calcium channel blocker (adjusted HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.35-0.88) had a significantly lower risk of hospitalization for CHF. After stratification by history of CHF, we found that this association was isolated to patients without a history of CHF. Adjustment for patient characteristics and comorbidities had a small effect on risk of hospitalization. Choice of antihypertensive medication combination had no significant association with risk of COPD exacerbation.
Among patients with comorbid hypertension and COPD requiring two antihypertensive agents, combination therapy that includes a thiazide diuretic was associated with a significantly lower risk of hospitalization for CHF among patients without a history of CHF.