ICD Devices Offer Heart Patients Life-Saving Benefits And Excellent Quality Of Life
Researchers have discovered that implantable cardioverter-defibrillators -- electric monitoring devices that deliver a lifesaving shock in the event of a cardiac arrest -- help patients with heart problems live longer more active lives.
Further, the study found most patients living with ICDs enjoy a quality of life consistent with average Americans their age and have a high level of satisfaction with the device, offsetting longstanding perceptions that the technology extends but seriously impairs patients' lives. Peter Groeneveld, MD, MS , Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and his co-authors report their findings in the April 2007 issue of the journal Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.
The study is the first to analyze quality of life and cost in "primary prevention" ICD patients, that is patients with no prior history of abnormal heart rhythms, but whose heart disease may increase their risk of sudden cardiac death. It is also among the first to verify the effectiveness of ICDs in patients who were not enrolled in clinical trials.
The use of ICDs has rapidly increased in recent years, particularly since Medicare and other health payers expanded coverage of the device for primary prevention.