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Medical News & Perspectives
July 8, 2009

New Study Supports Lifesaving Benefits of Implantable Defibrillation Devices

JAMA. 2009;302(2):134-135. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.947

Preliminary data from a “real-world” study appear to confirm the lifesaving benefit of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and defibrillating cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-Ds) for primary prevention of sudden heart failure. Moreover, these tools may perform even better than previously thought.

Researchers with the ALTITUDE trial said their observational study of 47 032 patients with ICDs and 38 967 patients with CRT-Ds documented 3-year survival rates of 96% and 89%, respectively—levels that exceed those reported from earlier pivotal studies. Five-year survival rates in ALTITUDE were 92% for patients with ICDs and 78% for those with CRT-Ds. The researchers presented their data on May 14 during the scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society held in Boston. The trial was funded by Boston Scientific Corp, Natick, Mass, which manufactures such devices.

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