Bouvy et al1 recently reported a link between the use of sympathomimetic agents and arrhythmias in patients with congestive heart failure. As the authors pointed out, the pharmacologic properties of sympathomimetics and the physiologic features of arrhythmias and congestive heart failure make the link not wholly unexpected. The trial was well conducted and provides useful and needed information for weighing the benefits of treating one disease with the risks of worsening another. The attributed odds ratio of 2.2 for the occurrence of arrhythmias requiring hospitalization, however, may be a little high.
Williams C. Baseline Rates of Disease May Account for Some Arrhythmia Risk. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(9):1235. doi: