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New Blood Test Helps Determine Who Benefits Most From ICD

Some heart failure patients benefit from having an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) while others do not - a new blood test that predicts risk of death may help doctors determine who should get an ICD, Professor Samuel Dudley, from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine explained at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2012, in Munich, Germany.

An estimated 5 million people in the USA suffer from heart failure, a condition where not enough blood is pumped around the body. According to the National Institutes of Health (USA), almost 550,000 Americans are diagnosed with heart failure annually. It is the single most common cause of hospitalizations in the country.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are surgically implanted in heart failure patients to prevent sudden death; they are similar to pacemakers in that they monitor and treat arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats).
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