American Heart AssociationHere is an interesting piece of news for those craving to know more about heart patients and their survival rate. A study claims that the death rate for Medicare patients with heart failure who were treated with usual medications and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) was apparently 14.2 percent lesser at the three-year follow-up. This was compared to those treated with medication alone.

The study authors supposedly recognized around 4,685 patients suffering from heart failure. They were said to be between 65 to 85 years old and were suitable to receive ICD therapy. These subjects are believed to have a left ventricular ejection fraction apparently functioning at 35 percent or less. These participants seem to be treated and discharged from hospitals taking part in the OPTIMIZE–HF and the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure quality improvement program.

They supposedly coordinated the patients to Medicare claims to look at long-standing results. It was apparently seen that the standard age of patients in the study was about 75.2 and around 60 percent comprised of women. The major result gauge was thought to be all-cause mortality for more than three years. The rates of death were said to be considerably lesser among heart failure patients who were given an ICD as opposed to those who did not receive one.

Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., study co-author and professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of California–Los Angeles Medical Center and immediate past chair of the Get With The Guidelines program, commented, “In the first year, only 19.8 percent of the patients with an ICD died compared to 27.6 percent without an ICD. By three years, 38.1 percent of patients with an ICD had died compared to 52.3 percent of those without an ICD. Overall, patients receiving an ICD were 29 percent less likely to die in the first three years.”

Fonarow is of the opinion these results propose that in older heart failure patients, age alone apparently should not leave out patients who are otherwise suitable for ICD treatment.

It was seen that the study claimed to exhibit that only around 8 percent of older heart failure patients entitled for ICDs could be given this clinically effectual therapy before hospital discharge.

He remarked, “Previously, it was uncertain if ICDs improve survival in older patients with heart failure, as older patients had been underrepresented in clinical trials of ICDs. Studying the use of ICDs in older patients and women is a high priority because of the size of the potential population at risk, continuing questions regarding effectiveness, and the cost of these devices.”

Forthcoming studies ought to assess health status, psychological distress and quality of life in elderly patients with heart failure following ICD therapy.

Moreover, potential studies are supposedly required to assess the consequences of health status on the choice to use ICD therapy and to examine the clinical efficiency of ICDs.

The findings were published in Circulation: Heart Failure, a Journal of the American Heart Association.