Outpatient beta-blockers and survival from sepsis: Results from a national cohort of Medicare beneficiaries

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; School of Medicine; Senior Scholars Program

Faculty Mentor

Heena Santry

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Geriatrics | Medical Education | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms | Surgery


BACKGROUND: Elderly Americans suffer increased mortality from sepsis. Given that beta-blockers have been shown to be cardioprotective in critical care, we investigated outpatient beta-blocker prescriptions and mortality among Medicare beneficiaries admitted for sepsis.

METHODS: We queried a 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries for patients admitted with sepsis. We used in-hospital and outpatient prescription drug claims to compare in-hospital and 30-day mortality based on pre-admission beta-blocker prescription and class of beta-blocker prescribed using univariate tests of comparison and multivariable logistic regression models and another class of medications for control.

RESULTS: Outpatient beta-blocker prescription was associated with a statistically significant decrease in in-hospital and 30-day mortality. In multivariable modeling, beta-blocker prescription was associated with 31% decrease in in-hospital mortality and 41% decrease in 30-day mortality. Both cardioselective and non-selective beta-blockers conferred mortality benefit.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggests that there may be a role for preadmission beta-blockers in reducing sepsis-related mortality.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Am J Surg. 2017 Oct;214(4):577-582. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.06.007. Epub 2017 Jun 24. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of surgery


Kathleen Singer participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID