Each year more than 350,000 people die from sudden cardiac death. Placement of an “implantable cardioverter-defibrillator,” or ICD, can prevent sudden cardiac death in patients who have weakened heart function, including those who have experienced a previous heart attack. A new study examined older patients who had weakened heart function after a heart attack and whether or not they underwent placement of these defibrillators and what portion of the patients were still alive 2 years later.
Tracy Wang MD, MHS, MSc, from Duke University and co-authors, examined clinical information from more than 10,000 medicare beneficiaries who had experienced a heart attack from 2007 to 2010. These patients were treated at more than 400 hospitals across the US.