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New Guidelines Issued for Implanted Heart Devices
Date:5/15/2008

ssive loss of the ability to pump blood, is a major contributor to cardiac mortality. An implanted device should be used only if symptoms persist when someone with heart failure already is receiving optimum drug therapy, with medications such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers, the committee wrote.

The new guidelines also note the importance of talking about the risks and benefits of implanted devices with the patient and family. "We've always tried to do that, and it is formally articulated in the guidelines," Epstein said.

The emphasis on considering implanted devices as one part of an overall strategy arises partly from the greatly expanded used of cardiac medications. For example, more than 80 percent of Americans with coronary disease now get beta blockers, he said.

"We emphasize that the global approach to patients saves lives," Epstein said.

More information

Learn more about heart devices from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Andrew Epstein, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Cardiovascular Disease; Richard Page, M.D., head of the division of cardiology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; May 15, 2008, presentation, Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting, San Francisco


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