Heart Surgery Risky for Older Seniors

Heart Surgery Risky for Older Seniors

Reported April 14, 2010

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — The surgery you’re getting to “kick start” your heart may end up hurting you in the end.

A new report released this week shows older patients are more likely to die in the hospital following surgery to implant defibrillators or pacemakers.

“Certain patient [groups] may not benefit from device implantation,” the study’s authors wrote in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. The authors also wrote “[the] use of cardiac defibrillators in patients with renal failure and those with advanced heart failure symptoms has not been associated with a survival benefit”.

Most alarming to the study’s authors is this: More than one-fifth of cardiac devices are implanted in individuals age 80 and older, despite the fact that most clinical trials have not included adults in this age group.



Because the average age in major clinical trials has ranged from 58 to 67 years and some have specified an upper age limit of 80 years, limited data are available on the use of these devices in older adults, experts say.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, April12, 2010