Strong of Heart

Women less likely to experience heart failure then men following CRT-D therapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Women who receive cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) are 70 percent less likely to experience heart failure and 72 percent less likely to die than men, according to a new study.

Reduction of heart failure in women receiving CRT-D therapy was twice that of men at 70 percent (compared to 35 percent, respectively), according to the study from the University of Rochester Medical Center, which looked at 1,820 participants from 110 medical centers in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Researchers compared cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) to implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)  therapy for reducing heart failure and death over a four and one-half year period. A total of 453 of study participants were female, or about 25 percent.

CRT-D therapy, when effective, delays or prevents enlargement of the heart by promoting more effective contraction in patients with mild heart failure.

Researchers hypothesized women were more responsive to the therapy because left bundle branch block and non-ischemic heart disease both lead to diffuse, as opposed to localized, heart problems -- a type of heart disease more common in women.

The CRT-D device, developed by Boston Scientific, was approved by the FDA last September to treat patients with heart failure by combining an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), designed to prevent sudden, rhythm-related cardiac death, with cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), which improves heart function.

There are currently 42 million women living with heart disease, the nation's No.1 killer of both sexes, in the United States.

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Review Date: 
February 8, 2011
Last Updated:
February 9, 2011