Despite their widespread use, implantable defibrillators—used to detect and then correct dangerous heart rhythms—may not protect women as well as they protect men, research shows.
The defibrillators help prevent sudden cardiac death in people with serious heart problems by delivering an electric shock to restore normal rhythm. But a study by the Providence Hospital Heart Institute in Southfield, Mich., showed that the device, technically called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), did not significantly lower the risk of death for women, although it did for men…
“This paper points out once again that women are different from men when it comes to heart disease,” says Sharonne Hayes, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who was not involved in the research. “The findings clearly warrant further study.”
AARP Bulletin by Nissa Simon 10/20/09