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Medtronic: ICD study is interesting but inconclusive

Medtronic says a new defibrillator study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine is “thought-provoking” but insufficient to draw solid conclusions. The study, by a Michigan heart institute, was unable to confirm benefits of implantable defibrillators in female patients.

Here’s the full response sent to MinnPost this afternoon:

Medtronic is aware of the meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Meta-analyses can be interesting and can raise thought-provoking hypotheses. However, it is important to note that the number of women represented in each of the studies reviewed is insufficient to allow for the type of sub-group analysis included in the manuscript. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to conclude that life-saving ICD therapy should be applied less than equally to women. ICD implantation in this population is considered by professional medical associations to be Class I guidelines.

Patients with heart failure are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Approximately 95 percent of people who experience an SCA will die within minutes. In fact, SCA claims more lives than lung cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. Implantable defibrillators are 98 percent effective in stopping dangerous arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Medtronic estimates that approximately 70,000 lives have been saved in the past five years alone by implantable defibrillators.

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