Implantable Heart Devices Work, Regardless of Race: Study

MONDAY Aug. 18, 2014, 2014 -- Implantable heart devices are as effective in reducing the risk of death in minority patients with heart failure as in white patients, a new study says.

While these devices are recommended for all eligible patients, previous research has shown that black and Hispanic patients were not well-represented in past clinical trials and are less likely than whites to receive implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices.

In this large study, researchers followed more than 15,000 heart failure patients over two years and found that those who received ICDs had a 36 percent lower risk of death, regardless of race or ethnicity.

The researchers also found that the use of CRT therapy reduced the risk of death by 45 percent, regardless of race or ethnicity, according to the study in the Aug. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study was funded by medical device maker Medtronic Inc.

"This is among the largest studies to address the question of race- and ethnicity-specific benefits with ICD or CRT therapies in real-world practice," senior author Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology and director of the Cardiomyopathy Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release.

"Our results are a reminder to physicians and patients that this proven life-extending therapy should be offered to all eligible heart failure patients without regard for race or ethnicity," added Fonarow, who is a consultant with Medtronic.

More than 5 million Americans have heart failure, which puts them at high risk of sudden death.

"Implantable devices are proven to save the lives of heart failure patients and should be offered to all patients who qualify, without consideration of race or ethnicity, to ensure more equitable benefit from this life-saving therapy," study first author Dr. Boback Ziaeian, a UCLA cardiologist, said in the news release.

The study was coordinated by 10 academic medical centers, including UCLA.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about heart failure.

Posted: August 2014


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