ICDs extend the lives of heart attack survivors by an entire year: Study

May 14, 2009

A landmark follow-up study found that heart attack survivors who receive implanted cardioverter defribillators (ICDs) live longer the longer they have them, according to the results of late-breaking clinical trail presented today at the annual Scientific Sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society.

ICDs are devices designed to correct arrhythmias, electrical malfunctions that throw the out of rhythm and cause many of the sudden cardiac deaths each year in the United States. Most fatal arrhythmias in the aging are caused by scar tissue left behind by heart attacks that interferes with the heart's electrical system.

The study that first tested the effectiveness of ICDs, the 2002 MADIT II trial (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial II), changed medical guidelines nationwide and made thousands of heart attack survivors eligible for ICD therapy. Led by Arthur Moss, M.D., professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the study found that the devices reduced risk of by 31 percent in survivors. At the same time, the ICD therapy could extend the average patient's life by about two months over a follow-up period that averaged about 2 years per patient. While that survival benefit was meaningful to patients, some critics argued that it did not make sense for the healthcare system to pay for $25,000 a device that provided a modest extension of life in patients with chronic cardiac disease.

The current study watched the same patients for eight years, and found that over that time, patients with ICDs implant lived an average of more than a year longer, "greatly amplifying" the value of the treatment and arguing that it is dramatically more cost effective as a chronic therapy. Specifically, the new study found that MADIT II patients who had an ICD for eight years had a 37 percent lower chance of death from any cause than those without one, which translates into 1.2 life-years saved.

"These results show that ICDs extend the long-term survival of patients with life-threatening of heart conditions," said Ilan Goldenberg, M.D., research associate professor within the Heart Research Follow-up Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and lead author of the new study. "These results emphasize the life-saving value of ICDs as chronic therapy for high-risk cardiac .

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists find key to regenerating blood vessels

November 23, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies a signaling pathway that is essential for angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. The ...

Researchers find infectious prions in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patient skin

November 22, 2017
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)—the human equivalent of mad cow disease—is caused by rogue, misfolded protein aggregates termed prions, which are infectious and cause fatal damages in the patient's brain. CJD patients ...

Surprising roles for muscle in tissue regeneration, study finds

November 22, 2017
A team of researchers at Whitehead has illuminated an important role for different subtypes of muscle cells in orchestrating the process of tissue regeneration. In a paper published in the November 22 issue of Nature, they ...

Study reveals new mechanisms of cell death in neurodegenerative disorders

November 22, 2017
Researchers at King's College London have discovered new mechanisms of cell death, which may be involved in debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Cinnamon turns up the heat on fat cells

November 21, 2017
New research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute has determined how a common holiday spice—cinnamon—might be enlisted in the fight against obesity.

How rogue immune cells cross the blood-brain barrier to cause multiple sclerosis

November 21, 2017
Drug designers working on therapeutics against multiple sclerosis should focus on blocking two distinct ways rogue immune cells attack healthy neurons, according to a new study in the journal Cell Reports.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.