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Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 Feb;23(1):205-19.

Treatment of arrhythmias and use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to improve survival in elderly patients with cardiac disease.

Author information

  • 1Heart Research Follow-up Program, Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Box 653, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. ilan.goldenberg@heart.rochester.edu


Patients who have left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure(HF) are at high risk for ventricular tachyarrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that pharmacologic management with antiarrhythmic drugs has limited efficacy for the prevention of arrhythmic mortality in this high-risk population, whereas implantation of a defibrillator was shown to be associated with a significant survival benefit. Data on the efficacy of defibrillator therapy in elderly patients, in whom comorbidities are common, are limited. In this article we outline current information on therapeutic modalities for the prevention of arrhythmic mortality in elderly patients who have left ventricular dysfunction and HF, focusing mainly on data on the benefit of device therapy in the older age group.

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