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Antibiotics for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 02 23; 2:CD003610.CD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide with approximately 7.4 million deaths each year. People with established coronary heart disease have a high risk of subsequent cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. Antibiotics might prevent such outcomes due to their antibacterial, antiinflammatory, and antioxidative effects. However, a randomised clinical trial and several observational studies have suggested that antibiotics may increase the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. Furthermore, several non-Cochrane Reviews, that are now outdated, have assessed the effects of antibiotics for coronary heart disease and have shown conflicting results. No previous systematic review using Cochrane methodology has assessed the effects of antibiotics for coronary heart disease.

OBJECTIVES

We assessed the benefits and harms of antibiotics compared with placebo or no intervention for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

SEARCH METHODS

We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, SCI-EXPANDED, and BIOSIS in December 2019 in order to identify relevant trials. Additionally, we searched TRIP, Google Scholar, and nine trial registries in December 2019. We also contacted 11 pharmaceutical companies and searched the reference lists of included trials, previous systematic reviews, and other types of reviews.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in adult participants (≥18 years). Trials were included irrespective of setting, blinding, publication status, publication year, language, and reporting of our outcomes.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Three review authors independently extracted data. Our primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, serious adverse event according to the International Conference on Harmonization - Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP), and quality of life. Our secondary outcomes were cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Our primary time point of interest was at maximum follow-up. Additionally, we extracted outcome data at 24±6 months follow-up. We assessed the risks of systematic errors using Cochrane 'Rosk of bias' tool. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dichotomous outcomes. We calculated absolute risk reduction (ARR) or increase (ARI) and number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) or for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) if the outcome result showed a beneficial or harmful effect, respectively. The certainty of the body of evidence was assessed by GRADE.

MAIN RESULTS

We included 38 trials randomising a total of 26,638 participants (mean age 61.6 years), with 23/38 trials reporting data on 26,078 participants that could be meta-analysed. Three trials were at low risk of bias and the 35 remaining trials were at high risk of bias. Trials assessing the effects of macrolides (28 trials; 22,059 participants) and quinolones (two trials; 4162 participants) contributed with the vast majority of the data. Meta-analyses at maximum follow-up showed that antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention seemed to increase the risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.06; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.13; P = 0.07; I2 = 0%; ARI 0.48%; NNTH 208; 25,774 participants; 20 trials; high certainty of evidence), stroke (RR 1.14; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.29; P = 0.04; I2 = 0%; ARI 0.73%; NNTH 138; 14,774 participants; 9 trials; high certainty of evidence), and probably also cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.25; P = 0.11; I2= 0%; 4674 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). Little to no difference was observed when assessing the risk of myocardial infarction (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.88 to 1.03; P = 0.23; I2 = 0%; 25,523 participants; 17 trials; high certainty of evidence). No evidence of a difference was observed when assessing sudden cardiac death (RR 1.08; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.31; P = 0.41; I2 = 0%; 4520 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). Meta-analyses at 24±6 months follow-up showed that antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention increased the risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.25; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.48; P = 0.007; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.26%; NNTH 79 (95% CI 335 to 42); 9517 participants; 6 trials; high certainty of evidence), cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.50; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.91; P = 0.001; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.12%; NNTH 89 (95% CI 261 to 49); 9044 participants; 5 trials; high certainty of evidence), and probably also sudden cardiac death (RR 1.77; 95% CI 1.28 to 2.44; P = 0.0005; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.9%; NNTH 53 (95% CI 145 to 28); 4520 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). No evidence of a difference was observed when assessing the risk of myocardial infarction (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.11; P = 0.53; I2 = 43%; 9457 participants; 5 trials; moderate certainty of evidence) and stroke (RR 1.17; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.52; P = 0.24; I2 = 0%; 9457 participants; 5 trials; high certainty of evidence). Meta-analyses of trials at low risk of bias differed from the overall analyses when assessing cardiovascular mortality at maximum follow-up. For all other outcomes, meta-analyses of trials at low risk of bias did not differ from the overall analyses. None of the trials specifically assessed serious adverse event according to ICH-GCP. No data were found on quality of life.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

Our present review indicates that antibiotics (macrolides or quinolones) for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease seem harmful when assessing the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and stroke at maximum follow-up and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and sudden cardiac death at 24±6 months follow-up. Current evidence does, therefore, not support the clinical use of macrolides and quinolones for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Future trials on the safety of macrolides or quinolones for the secondary prevention in patients with coronary heart disease do not seem ethical. In general, randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of antibiotics, especially macrolides and quinolones, need longer follow-up so that late-occurring adverse events can also be assessed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Odense (CEBMO) and Cochrane Denmark, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. Open Patient data Explorative Network (OPEN), Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Clinical Study Support, Clinical Studies Sweden - Forum South, Lund, Sweden.Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group, Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. Department of Regional Health Research, The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group, Copenhagen Trial Unit, Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, The Capital Region of Denmark, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. Department of Regional Health Research, The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33704780

Citation

Sethi, Naqash J., et al. "Antibiotics for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 2, 2021, p. CD003610.
Sethi NJ, Safi S, Korang SK, et al. Antibiotics for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021;2:CD003610.
Sethi, N. J., Safi, S., Korang, S. K., Hróbjartsson, A., Skoog, M., Gluud, C., & Jakobsen, J. C. (2021). Antibiotics for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2, CD003610. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003610.pub4
Sethi NJ, et al. Antibiotics for Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 02 23;2:CD003610. PubMed PMID: 33704780.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Antibiotics for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. AU - Sethi,Naqash J, AU - Safi,Sanam, AU - Korang,Steven Kwasi, AU - Hróbjartsson,Asbjørn, AU - Skoog,Maria, AU - Gluud,Christian, AU - Jakobsen,Janus C, Y1 - 2021/02/23/ PY - 2022/02/23/pmc-release PY - 2021/3/11/entrez PY - 2021/3/12/pubmed PY - 2021/4/10/medline SP - CD003610 EP - CD003610 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev VL - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide with approximately 7.4 million deaths each year. People with established coronary heart disease have a high risk of subsequent cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. Antibiotics might prevent such outcomes due to their antibacterial, antiinflammatory, and antioxidative effects. However, a randomised clinical trial and several observational studies have suggested that antibiotics may increase the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. Furthermore, several non-Cochrane Reviews, that are now outdated, have assessed the effects of antibiotics for coronary heart disease and have shown conflicting results. No previous systematic review using Cochrane methodology has assessed the effects of antibiotics for coronary heart disease. OBJECTIVES: We assessed the benefits and harms of antibiotics compared with placebo or no intervention for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, LILACS, SCI-EXPANDED, and BIOSIS in December 2019 in order to identify relevant trials. Additionally, we searched TRIP, Google Scholar, and nine trial registries in December 2019. We also contacted 11 pharmaceutical companies and searched the reference lists of included trials, previous systematic reviews, and other types of reviews. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in adult participants (≥18 years). Trials were included irrespective of setting, blinding, publication status, publication year, language, and reporting of our outcomes. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Three review authors independently extracted data. Our primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, serious adverse event according to the International Conference on Harmonization - Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP), and quality of life. Our secondary outcomes were cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Our primary time point of interest was at maximum follow-up. Additionally, we extracted outcome data at 24±6 months follow-up. We assessed the risks of systematic errors using Cochrane 'Rosk of bias' tool. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dichotomous outcomes. We calculated absolute risk reduction (ARR) or increase (ARI) and number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) or for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) if the outcome result showed a beneficial or harmful effect, respectively. The certainty of the body of evidence was assessed by GRADE. MAIN RESULTS: We included 38 trials randomising a total of 26,638 participants (mean age 61.6 years), with 23/38 trials reporting data on 26,078 participants that could be meta-analysed. Three trials were at low risk of bias and the 35 remaining trials were at high risk of bias. Trials assessing the effects of macrolides (28 trials; 22,059 participants) and quinolones (two trials; 4162 participants) contributed with the vast majority of the data. Meta-analyses at maximum follow-up showed that antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention seemed to increase the risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.06; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.13; P = 0.07; I2 = 0%; ARI 0.48%; NNTH 208; 25,774 participants; 20 trials; high certainty of evidence), stroke (RR 1.14; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.29; P = 0.04; I2 = 0%; ARI 0.73%; NNTH 138; 14,774 participants; 9 trials; high certainty of evidence), and probably also cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.25; P = 0.11; I2= 0%; 4674 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). Little to no difference was observed when assessing the risk of myocardial infarction (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.88 to 1.03; P = 0.23; I2 = 0%; 25,523 participants; 17 trials; high certainty of evidence). No evidence of a difference was observed when assessing sudden cardiac death (RR 1.08; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.31; P = 0.41; I2 = 0%; 4520 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). Meta-analyses at 24±6 months follow-up showed that antibiotics versus placebo or no intervention increased the risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.25; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.48; P = 0.007; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.26%; NNTH 79 (95% CI 335 to 42); 9517 participants; 6 trials; high certainty of evidence), cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.50; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.91; P = 0.001; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.12%; NNTH 89 (95% CI 261 to 49); 9044 participants; 5 trials; high certainty of evidence), and probably also sudden cardiac death (RR 1.77; 95% CI 1.28 to 2.44; P = 0.0005; I2 = 0%; ARI 1.9%; NNTH 53 (95% CI 145 to 28); 4520 participants; 2 trials; moderate certainty of evidence). No evidence of a difference was observed when assessing the risk of myocardial infarction (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.82 to 1.11; P = 0.53; I2 = 43%; 9457 participants; 5 trials; moderate certainty of evidence) and stroke (RR 1.17; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.52; P = 0.24; I2 = 0%; 9457 participants; 5 trials; high certainty of evidence). Meta-analyses of trials at low risk of bias differed from the overall analyses when assessing cardiovascular mortality at maximum follow-up. For all other outcomes, meta-analyses of trials at low risk of bias did not differ from the overall analyses. None of the trials specifically assessed serious adverse event according to ICH-GCP. No data were found on quality of life. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Our present review indicates that antibiotics (macrolides or quinolones) for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease seem harmful when assessing the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and stroke at maximum follow-up and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and sudden cardiac death at 24±6 months follow-up. Current evidence does, therefore, not support the clinical use of macrolides and quinolones for the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Future trials on the safety of macrolides or quinolones for the secondary prevention in patients with coronary heart disease do not seem ethical. In general, randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of antibiotics, especially macrolides and quinolones, need longer follow-up so that late-occurring adverse events can also be assessed. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33704780/Antibiotics_for_secondary_prevention_of_coronary_heart_disease_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003610.pub4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -