Study Finds Woman and Blacks Have Higher Rates of ICD Complications

Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices have much higher complication rate than simpler devices
Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices have much higher complication rate than simpler devices

HealthDay News — Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are associated with a high risk of long-term complications, according to research published online May 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Isuru Ranasinghe, MB ChB, PhD, a senior cardiologist at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, and colleagues collected data on 114,484 men and women aged 65 and older who received an ICD between 2006 and 2010. The patients were followed for 3 years. The team analyzed the performance of three types of ICDs -- single-chamber, dual-chamber, and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-D).

The investigators found the chances for trouble were greater with more complex devices, especially CRT-D devices. Compared with simpler devices, CRT-D devices have a 38% higher rate of complications, and quadruple the risk for procedures such as battery replacement and upgrades. The researchers found that women and blacks had a somewhat higher risk of complications compared to men and whites. In addition, younger seniors – those 65 to 69 at implantation – had more complications than people 85 and older.

Why women and blacks are more susceptible to complications isn't clear and requires further investigation, Ranasinghe told HealthDay. Still, "our findings can be used by physicians and patients to make an informed choice when weighing up the risks and benefits of an ICD," he said.

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