How does the efficacy of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy vary by age?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Daniel M Beyerbach, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Some data suggest that not all age groups benefit equally from the protective effect of ICDs. One pooled analysis of primary prevention trials found that the elderly do not derive a clinically significant benefit from ICDs. [32] Moreover, there was an overall 17% complication rate associated with ICD treatments. In this analysis, elderly was defined as older than 60 for some studies and older than 65 for others.

A pooled analysis of secondary prevention ICD trials also found no reduction in all-cause and arrhythmic mortality in elderly patients. [33] However, current recommendations do not exclude ICD implantation on the basis of age.

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