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Women Clear Winners with Heart Failure Device
Date:5/13/2010

ere heart failure. If approved for the new prevention of heart failure indication, nearly 4 million more Americans could be candidates for treatment with the CRT-D.

"Anecdotally, we know that women are offered devices to treat heart failure less often than men," said Wojciech Zareba, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-author of the study. "We're hopeful that these results will change the mindset of physicians and that they will apply this type of therapy as indicated in women as well as in men."

Currently, 42 million American women are living with heart disease. It is the leading killer of women in the United States, each year claiming more women than men. In 2005, cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of more than 450,000 women, while all forms of cancer claimed the lives of approximately 265,000 women, according to the American Heart Association.

In women with mild heart failure, CRT-D therapy effectively prevented deterioration of the heart, otherwise known as cardiac remodeling. While "remodeling" typically has positive connotations – think new kitchen with updated appliances, sparkling marble countertops and refurbished floors – cardiac remodeling is actually an unwanted consequence of a damaged heart (from a heart attack or an infection) that is marked by enlargement of the heart.

Why did women see such significant preventive benefits from CRT-D therapy compared to their male counterparts? Study authors believe several factors are at play. Women in the study were more likely to have non-ischemic heart disease, which is typically characterized by inflammation of the heart muscle and can lead to reduced pumping strength, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and disturbances
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SOURCE University of Rochester Medical Center
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