Chronic heart failure(CHF) is a frequent and clinically relevant condition in elderly patients. Despite the improvements in medical therapy, CHF mortality is persistently high. The introduction into clinical practice of pacemakers for cardiac resynchronization therapy(CRT) and of implantable cardioverter- defibrillators(ICD) has significantly increased survival in CHF patients. In spite of clinical and epidemiological data, evidence of the effectiveness of these devices in the elderly is scant, and the few existing data derive from observational studies. Regarding CRT, in 1787 patients, the InSync/InSync ICD study showed no age-related differences in the prevalence of responders to therapy(about 60%) and in procedural complication rates(11%). Regarding ICD, in the 6311 patients enrolled in the Italian Clinical Service Project, 22.6% of the excess mortality observed in older subjects was due to comorbid conditions. Specific controlled clinical trials are needed to address the impact of CRT and ICD on health-related quality of life, disability and cognitive profile. The findings obtained will be useful to clarify clinical, ethical and cost-effectiveness issues in order to develop specific age-oriented guideline recommendations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine