The association of multimorbidity to mortality in older adults after permanent pacemaker placement

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2021 Apr 6. doi: 10.1111/pace.14238. Online ahead of print.


Background: In the United States 2018 bradycardia guideline, the current class III recommendation that patients with permanent pacemaker (PPM) indications and high multimorbidity burden may not have meaningful clinical benefit from PPM therapy is based on limited data.

Methods: Observational study (January 1, 2008-December 31, 2015) of adults ≥65 years (N = 16,678) who underwent PPM implantation. Exposure variable: Elixhauser comorbidity number (ECN, 29 well-validated conditions).

Primary outcome: ≤1-year mortality; secondary outcome: > 1-year mortality.

Results: Those who died ≤1-year were older, had a lower body mass index (BMI), and higher ECN (p < .001). Cumulative survival at 1-year was 92.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 91.9-92.7). One-year survival decreased by increasing ECN-with a difference at 1-year between lowest and highest ECN category of 17.3% (ECN 0-1: 97.1% [95% CI: 96.3-97.7]; ECN ≥8: 79.8% [95% CI: 77.9-81.5]). For those who survived the first year, cumulative survival at 8-years was 51.2% (95% CI = 49.8-52.6) with a difference between ECN 0-1 and ≥8 of 43.4%. Increasing ECN was associated equally with ≤1-year (HR 1.28 [95% CI: 1.25-1.30]) and >1-year (HR 1.19 [95% CI: 1.17-1.20]) mortality. A predictive model including age, sex, BMI, PPM type, race, and ECN had greater discriminative ability (p < .0001) than a bedside model (age, sex) for the primary outcome.

Conclusion: Across the heterogeneity of indications for PPM placement, multimorbidity is increasingly common. The association of multimorbidity to mortality (≤1-year, >1-year) should be routinely discussed during the shared decision-making process as an important prognostic geriatric domain variable.

Keywords: Elixhauser; geriatrics; mortality; multimorbidity; multiple chronic conditions; older adults; permanent pacemaker.