Study: Implantable Defibrillators Save Older Patients, too
Posted on January 8, 2009 @ 10:21 am
Researchers have found that implantable heart defibrillators — which have been found to save lives in younger patients — appear to have the same benefit for the elderly.
"We need to ensure we avoid undertreatment of older patients," he said.
Implantable defibrillators are tiny devices implanted under the skin with wires that lead to the heart. The devices detect dangerous heart rhythms and shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Chan said other clinical trials of ICDs have focused on younger, healthier patients. Medicare, the U.S. federal health plan for the elderly, greatly expanded its coverage of the devices in 2005.
"What we really wanted to do is provide some insight into what is the benefit of patients in their 70s," he said.
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