Trends in the incidence and prevalence of cardiac pacemaker insertions in an ageing population

Open Heart. 2014 Dec 10;1(1):e000177. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2014-000177. eCollection 2014.


Objectives: To determine contemporary population estimates of the prevalence of cardiac permanent pacemaker (PPM) insertions.

Methods: A population-based observational study using linked hospital morbidity and death registry data from Western Australia (WA) to identify all incident cases of PPM insertion for adults aged 18 years or older. Prevalence rates were calculated by age and sex for the years 1995-2009 for the WA population.

Results: There were 9782 PPMs inserted during 1995-2009. Prevalence rose across the study period, exceeding 1 in 50 among people aged 75 or older from 2005. This was underpinned by incidence rates which rose with age, being highest in those 85 years or older; over 500/100 000 for men throughout, and over 200/100 000 for women. Rates for patients over 75 were more than double the rates for those aged 65-74 years. Women were around 40% of cases overall. The use of dual-chamber and triple-chamber pacing increased across the study period. A cardiac resynchronisation defibrillator was implanted for 58% of patients treated with cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

Conclusions: Rates of insertion and prevalence of PPM continue to rise with the ageing population in WA. As equilibrium has probably not been reached, the demand for pacing services in similarly well-developed economies is likely to continue to grow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't