SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association
Implantable Defibrillators Underused Among Older Patients After Heart Attack
Researchers from Duke University examined clinical information from more than 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries who had a heart attack from 2007 to 2010. Less than one in ten patients who might have been eligible for an ICD had one placed within a year of their heart attack.
Although further research is needed, the results found that implantation of an ICD was associated with 36 percent lower risk of death at two years. Patients who followed up with their doctors within two weeks after hospital discharge were more likely to get a defibrillator as were patients who underwent previous heart bypass surgery.