Defibrillator therapy, the implantation of a defibrillator in patients with high-risk genetic cardiac disorders, but without a history of prior aborted cardiac arrest, used in early intervention can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and significantly prolong life, say researchers.
"The implanted cardioverter defibrillator has been shown to efficiently terminate life-threatening arrhythmias affecting patients born with genetic abnormalities in the electrical system of the heart," states Dr. Ilan Goldenberg of the Heart Research Follow-Up Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "However, data on the yield of this mode of therapy derives mostly from studies of adult patients with acquired cardiac disease. In the present study, we employ an analytical model based on current knowledge of the risks of patients with genetic cardiac disorders and show that in this high-risk population, intervention with a defibrillator at the age of 10 years is cost effective or even associated with economic gains due to the societal contributions of young and otherwise healthy patients in whom defibrillator therapy extends life."
Defibrillator therapy was found to be beneficial and cost effective with a ratio in the range of $30,000 to $185,000 per quality-adjusted-life-year saved in adult patients with acquired heart disease. In high-risk young males and females with genetic cardiac disorders, implantation of a defibrillator resulted in cost savings in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 per quality-adjusted-life-year saved.
This study is published in Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology. Media who would like to receive a PDF of this article should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ilan Goldenberg, MD is currently performing research at the Heart Research Follow-up Program in which the International Long QT Syndrome Registry, one of the world's largest databases of patients with inherited cardiac disorders, is being carried out. The work in this paper is a result of collaboration between an experienced team of statisticians and preventive medicine experts in the field of Long QT Syndrome.
About the Journal
The Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology (A.N.E) is the first journal in an evolving subspecialty that incorporates ongoing advances in the clinical application and technology of traditional and new ECG-based techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac patients. The publication includes topics related to 12-lead, exercise and high-resolution electrocardiography, arrhythmias, ischemia, repolarization phenomena, heart rate variability, circadian rhythms, bioengineering technology, signal-averaged ECGs, T-wave alternans and automatic external defibrillation.
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