Complications from implantable cardioverter defibrillators more common among women

   Women may be more likely than men to have complications from implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), hospital readmission for heart failure, and death within six months of implantation, according to a study by Andrea M. Russo, MD, and colleagues at Cooper University Hospital, Camden, N.J. 

   The researchers compared results after ICD implantation in 2006-2009 in 38,912 patients (25% women). They found that complications -- including pneumothorax requiring chest tube, hematoma requiring transfusion or evacuation, tamponade, or death within 30 days, or mechanical complications with system revision, device-related infection, or post-index ICD within 90 days -- were notably higher among women. Women were 40% more likely to die or have complications and 34% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for heart failure within six months of implantation.

   "Whether these gender differences impact the benefit of the treatment in women requires more study," researchers said.