ACC 2015: Heart failure patients receive limited ICD counseling, study says

March 16, 2015 – The presentation by the DCRI’s Paul Hess, MD, received Best Poster and Best Fellow in Training awards from the ACC.

Heart failure patients who are eligible for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) devices are only sporadically counseled about their use, and counseling varies widely by hospital, according to a study presented in a poster session Monday at the annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in San Diego. The study, led by the DCRI’s Paul Hess, MD (pictured), also found that women and minorities are also less likely to receive such counseling

paul-hess-newsHess’ presentation received Best Poster and Best Fellow in Training awards from the ACC.

Many patients who are eligible for an ICD device never receive one, although the reasons for the low rate of ICD use are unclear.

To obtain a clearer picture of patterns of ICD use, Hess and his colleagues analyzed patient data from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure registry. They examined the records of 21,059 patients hospitalized for heart failure at 236 medical centers in the United States between 2011 and 2014. All patients had a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 35 percent or a documented contraindication to ICD therapy at the time of hospitalization.

Of the total study population, 4,755 patients (22.6 percent) received counseling, while 16,304 (77.4 percent) did not. Of those patients who did receive counseling, 62.6 percent opted to undergo the ICD procedure, but nonwhite patients were less likely to choose to receive an ICD.

These findings, the researchers concluded, illustrate the need for culturally specific counseling for all potential ICD patients.

In addition to Hess, the study’s other DCRI authors included Adrian Hernandez, MD, MHS; Anne Hellkamp, MS; Eric Peterson, MD, MPH; Phillip Schulte, PhD; and Sana Al-Khatib, MD, MHS.