Doctors show bias in pacemaker choice:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Younger, white, male Medicare patients in large, urban, private or western US hospitals are more likely to receive dual chamber pacemakers. The trend has nothing to do with clinical characteristics but the choice of dual- or single-chamber pacing has a significant effect on survival, according to a paper in the AHA journal, Circulation (February 15th). The authors studied physician practice patterns in a random sample of 36,312 Medicare patients who received pacemakers between 1988 and 1990. After two years the death rate in those with dual-chamber devices was 22.3%, while those with single chamber pacemakers was 28.9%.