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Prevalence of One-Year Mortality after Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Placement: An Opportunity for Palliative Care?

Kalver E, Branch-Elliman W, Stolzmann K, Wachterman M, Shin MH, Schweizer ML, Mull HJ. Prevalence of One-Year Mortality after Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Placement: An Opportunity for Palliative Care?. Journal of palliative medicine. 2023 Feb 1; 26(2):175-181.

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Current guidelines recommend against placement of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in patients with a life expectancy less than one year. These patients may benefit from early palliative care services; however, identifying this population is challenging. Determine whether a validated prognostic tool, based on patient factors and health care utilization from electronic medical records, accurately predicts one-year mortality at the time of implantable cardioverter defibrillator placement. We used the United States (U.S.) Veterans Administration's "Care Assessment Needs" one-Year Mortality Score to identify patients at high risk of mortality (score = 95) before their procedure. Data were extracted from the Corporate Data Warehouse. Logistic regression was used to assess the odds of mortality at different score levels. Patients undergoing a new implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2017 in the U.S. Veterans Administration. Of 3194 patients with a new implantable cardioverter defibrillator placed, 657 (21.8%) had a score = 95. The mortality rate among these patients was 151/657 (22.9%) compared with 281/3194 (8.8%) for all patients undergoing a new implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedure. Patients with a score = 95 had 14.0 (95% confidence interval 8.0-24.4) higher odds of death within one year of the procedure compared with those with a score = 60. The "Care Assessment Needs" Score is a valid predictor of one-year mortality following implantable cardioverter defibrillator procedures. Integrating its use into the management of Veterans Administration (VA) patients considering implantable cardioverter defibrillators may improve shared decision making and engagement with palliative care.

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