Background: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) reduces heart failure hospitalizations (HFH) and mortality for guideline-indicated patients with heart failure (HF). Most patients with HF are aged ≥70 years but such patients are often under-represented in randomized trials.
Methods: Patient-level data were combined from 8 randomized trials published 2002-2013 comparing CRT to no CRT (n = 6,369). The effect of CRT was estimated using an adjusted Bayesian survival model. Using age as a categorical (<70 vs ≥70 years) or continuous variable, the interaction between age and CRT on the composite end point of HFH or all-cause mortality or all-cause mortality alone was assessed.
Results: The median age was 67 years with 2436 (38%) being 70+; 1,554 (24%) were women; 2,586 (41%) had nonischemic cardiomyopathy and median QRS duration was 160 ms. Overall, CRT was associated with a delay in time to the composite end point (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.75, 95% credible interval [CI] 0.66-0.85, P = .002) and all-cause mortality alone (aHR of 0.80, 95% CI 0.69-0.96, P = .017). When age was treated as a categorical variable, there was no interaction between age and the effect of CRT for either end point (P > .1). When age was treated as a continuous variable, older patients appeared to obtain greater benefit with CRT for the composite end point (P for interaction = .027) with a similar but nonsignificant trend for mortality (P for interaction = .35).
Conclusion: Reductions in HFH and mortality with CRT are as great or greater in appropriately indicated older patients. Age should not be a limiting factor for the provision of CRT.
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