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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Answer

Answer

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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