Can treatment with beta adrenoreceptor blocking drugs reduce the risk of developing symptomatic osteoarthritis and requiring total joint replacement in the general population: a prospective cohort study using data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink

  • Abhishek, A (PI)
  • Valdes, A (CoI)
  • Grainge, M (CoI)
  • Doherty, M (CoI)
  • Zhang, Weiya (CoI)
  • Mallen, C (CoI)
  • Mamas, M (CoI)
  • Townsend, Nick (PI)

Project: Research council

Project Details


Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis and affects 15% people. It
is the leading cause of pain and disability. No specific therapy exists for
osteoarthritis and its treatment focuses on painkillers which can cause
troublesome and life threatening side-effects. Findings from several
laboratory studies suggest that beta-adrenergic blocking medicines (betablockers) used in the treatment of angina, hypertension, and irregular heart
beat can reduce osteoarthritis pain.

We recently demonstrated for the first time that patients with osteoarthritis
prescribed beta-blockers for these conditions have milder joint pain and
are less likely to be prescribed strong and potentially toxic morphine-like
painkillers. As patients in this study were elderly and recruited from
hospitals, we want to confirm these findings in community based studies
before conducting cumbersome and expensive clinical trials.
We will use data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) for
this study. CPRD contains detailed anonymised medical information for 14
million people registered with a GP in the UK. Their data is collected at the
GP surgery during consultations and stored after reomving identifiable

We will investigate if patients prescribed beta-blockers are less likely to
develop knee or hip osteoarthritis, require strong painkillers and joint
replacement surgery. We will identify people who have been commenced
on beta-blockers and do not have any form of arthirtis diagnosed or see
their GP for joint pain (group-A), or have osteoarthritis and have been
commenced on beta-blockers (group-B). Their risk for developing knee or
hip osteoarthritis (group-A participants), being started on strong painkillers
and requiring joint replacement surgery (group-B participants) will be
compared to similar adults not on this medication.
Effective start/end date1/06/1831/08/19


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