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Stuy in NEJM: New therapy prevents heart failure
Date:9/1/2009

Patients who had a cardiac resynchronization device combined with a defibrillator (CRT-D) implanted had a 34 percent reduction in their risk of death or heart failure when compared to patients receiving only an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD), according to a landmark study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented today at the European Society of Cardiology Congress (ESC) in Barcelona, Spain. The overall benefit observed from resynchronization therapy was driven by a 41 percent reduction in heart failure. Women who received CRT-D had an "astonishing" 63 percent reduction in their risk of heart failure.

About one million cardiac patients in the United States die each year from either electrical, heart rhythm disorders that result in sudden cardiac death or from mechanical disorders where the heart's pumping ability is impaired (heart failure), according to the study authors.

In 2002, Arthur Moss, M.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and the MADIT (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial) research group showed that an implanted defibrillator, or ICD, reduced the risk of death by 31 percent in cardiac patients as part of the MADIT-II trial. This therapy was soon approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and became part of professional guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Heart Rhythm Society. Long-term follow-up studies showed, however, that ICDs were so effective at preventing sudden death that patients lived longer and were subsequently at increased risk for heart failure. This created an urgent need to better address both risks in tandem.

Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is currently approved for treatment only for patients with symptoms of severe heart failure (New York Heart Association [NYHA] class III and IV) in whom it reduces symptoms by improving the mechanic
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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