Pacemaker Heart Failure Treatment May Provide Greater Benefit to Women than Men

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Disability Help Group

According to a new analysis, women may benefit more from pacemaker treatment for heart failure, though men are more likely to receive this type of treatment.

The pacemaker is part of a treatment called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). It helps patients who suffer from a condition where one side of the heart beats before the other side. CRT helps resynchronize the heartbeat.

A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that the risk of heart failure and death dropped by 60 percent for women undergoing CRT. But for men the risk was much less at 26 percent. When considering the risk of death alone, for women it dropped by 55 percent and for men, just 15 percent.

Clinical trials determine treatment guidelines. But those focused mostly on men, which is why they tend to get treated more often with CRT, according to the report.

Also, the guidelines establish that a QRS duration (time required for electrical conduction in heart) of 150 milliseconds or longer qualifies for CRT. But according to the FDA, women with a QRS of 130 to 149 milliseconds derived a greater benefit from CRT than men in that same range. In fact, in this range CRT reduced the rate of heart failure or death by 76 percent for women. Men didn’t experience this same reduction.

The testing of medical devices tends to include men more often than women. But with the differences in physiology and anatomy, researchers believe the effectiveness of various treatments could vary between the genders.

Heart failure is a medical condition that may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Medical records must show evidence of certain symptoms. Or an individual may receive these benefits based on functional limitations. With the amount of paperwork and proof necessary to establish disability, applicants often benefit from working with a representative. At Disability Help Group we can assist with an initial claim or appealing a denied claim. Call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.