Heart devices, procedures evaluated across patient populations

ATLANTA, GA (March 13, 2006) -- Studies investigating procedure and device efficacy across patient populations have found varying results with regard to Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) and defibrillators. According to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session, new studies take a closer look at women, minorities and athletes, as well as recall issues with ICDs. ACC.06 is the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, bringing together over 30,000 cardiologists to further breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine.

"Consistent re-evaluation of commonly used devices and procedures ensures their efficacy across patient populations and helps identify new patient groups who may benefit from these procedures," said Douglas P. Zipes, M.D., Indiana University School of Medicine. "These data illuminates critical gaps in procedure and device effectiveness as well as procedural protocol across gender, race and age."

Does Gender Alter the Efficacy of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators? (Abstract 947-129)

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) can be a life saving therapy for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease with an increased risk of fatal arrhythmias. However, the majority of studies involve male patients and, consequently, much less is known about ICD efficacy in women. Researchers from Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Connecticut investigated the use of ICDs in women and found that females have significantly lower survival rates with this procedure than their male counterparts.

The study authors reviewed previous studies on ICDs and evaluated five trials that met the following criteria: controlled trial versus standard of care, ICD as primary prevention, and available data on risk of death for both male and female patients. In total, ICD therapy reduced the risk of death by 24 percent in men, but only by 12 percent in


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