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April 22 2009

Outcomes of Medicare Beneficiaries With Ventricular Assist Devices

JAMA. 2009;301(16):1656-1658. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.526

To the Editor: Heart failure is a significant health care issue in the United States, with more than 5 million people currently affected and more than 50 000 deaths per year with heart failure as a primary cause.1 As the population ages, this will become an even greater problem. Left ventricular assist devices for destination therapy are slowly emerging as the treatment of choice for appropriately selected patients. With new technology, advances in patient selection, and management and implantation at an experienced center, survival rates are now approaching 75% at 2 years.2