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WASHINGTON, October 5, 2010 — New research reveals that patients with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) after myocardial infraction (MI) than nondiabetic patients. According to research published in the October edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, incidence of SCD in diabetic patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction >35% is equal to that of nondiabetic patients with left ventricular ejection fraction of <35%. A secondary analysis indicated that non-sudden cardiac deaths were also higher among diabetics after a heart attack.

In response to the study, Non-Evidence-Based Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) Implantations in the United States, published in the January 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) reiterate the importance of research and measurement tools designed to improve patient care. The message and teachings of this important study indicate that substantial variations exist among hospital ICD implantation strategies.

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2010 — According to a new survey, physicians were significantly less comfortable discussing withdrawal of pacemaker (PM) and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy compared with other life-sustaining therapies, with approximately half stating that they were not comfortable having these conversations with patients. Similarly, physicians were almost twice as likely to have been involved in withdrawal of therapies such as mechanical ventilation and hemodialysis compared with cardiac devices. The survey, published in the November edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, uncovers a need for more education regarding the legal and ethical parameters guiding cessation of PM and ICD therapy. 

WASHINGTON — Results from a large, worldwide, clinical trial show evidence that a first-of-its-kind pacemaker system is safe and effective to use during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). During the trial, no MRI-related complications were reported in patients with the pacemaker system before, during, or after an MRI examination.

WASHINGTON — The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is aware of the ongoing Department of Justice (DOJ) civil investigation of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implants and has agreed to assist in an advisory role to lend expertise concerning proper guidelines for clinical decision making. HRS is reviewing information that does not include either identifiable patient or facility level data.

WASHINGTON, December 8, 2010 — The outcome of a recent expert consensus workshop, "NHLBI/HRS Workshop on Prediction and Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death," identifies knowledge gaps and offers six specific research recommendations in high priority areas for sudden cardiac death (SCD) prediction and prevention. In the  In the United States, SCD continues to claim more than 250,000 lives annually and is the cause of half of all heart disease deaths. The special report, Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) Prediction and Prevention: Report from a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Heart Rhythm Society Workshop, was published in the November 30th issue of Circulation, an official journal of the American Heart Association. 

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2010 – The Heart Rhythm Society, the international leader in science, education and advocacy for heart rhythm professionals and patients, has received notification that the Society’s request for a physician specialty code for cardiac electrophysiology has been approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).