Effects of metoprolol CR/XL on mortality and hospitalizations in patients with heart failure and history of hypertension

Johan Herlitz, John Wikstrand, Marty Denny, Paul E Fenster, Thomas Heywood, Gabriella Masszi, Sten Rasmussen, Gudmundur Thorgeirsson, Kristian Wachtell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Background: We describe the effect of controlled-release/extended-release (CR/XL) metoprolol succinate once daily on mortality and hospitalizations among patients with a history of hypertension complicated by chronic systolic heart failure. Methods and Results: We enrolled 3,991 patients with chronic heart failure of New York Heart Association functional class II-IV with an ejection fraction of ≤0.40, stabilized with optimum standard therapy, in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. A total of 1,747 patients (44%) had a history of hypertension; 871 were randomized to receive metoprolol CR/XL and 876 to receive placebo. Treatment with metoprolol CR/XL compared with placebo resulted in a significant reduction in total mortality (relative risk [RR], 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-0.84; P = .0022), mainly because of reductions in sudden death (RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.33-0.79; P = .0022) and mortality from worsening heart failure (RR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.25-0.99; P = .042). Total number of hospitalizations for worsening heart failure was reduced by 30% in the metoprolol CR/XL group compared with placebo (P = .015). Metoprolol CR/XL was well tolerated: 12% fewer patients withdrew from study medication (all-cause) compared with placebo (P = .048). Conclusions: A subgroup analysis of MERIT-HF shows that patients with heart failure and a history of hypertension received a similar benefit from metoprolol CR/XL treatment as all patients included in the total study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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