Rehospitalizations for complications and mortality following pacemaker implantation: A retrospective cohort study in an older population

Marianne H. Gillam, Nicole L. Pratt, Maria C.S. Inacio, Sepehr Shakib, Prashanthan Sanders, Dennis H. Lau, Elizabeth E. Roughead

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: A large number of older people receive pacemakers each year but broad population-based studies that describe complications following pacemaker implantation in this population are lacking. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs database. The cohort consisted of patients who received a pacemaker from 2005 to 2014. The outcomes were subsequent rehospitalizations for infections, procedure-related complications, thromboembolism, cardiovascular events (heart failure, myocardial infarction, and atrial fibrillation), and reoperation of pacemaker, and mortality. Results: There were 10 883 pacemakers recipients, the median age was 86 years (interquartile range 83-89), 61% were males, and 74% received a dual-chamber pacemaker. Within 90 days postdischarge, rehospitalizations were occasioned by pacemaker infection in 0.5%, device-related complications in 1.5%, cerebral infarction in 0.7%, and heart failure in 6% of single-chamber pacemaker recipients. In dual-chamber pacemaker recipients rehospitalizations were occasioned by pacemaker infection in 0.4%, septicemia in 0.4%, device-related complications in 1.2%, cerebral infarction in 0.3%, and heart failure in 3%. Rehospitalizations for pacemaker adjustment occurred in 1.5% of patients. The 90-day postdischarge mortality was 5% and 3% in patients with single- and dual-chamber pacemaker, respectively. Conclusion: Rehospitalizations for infection, procedure-related complications, or thromboembolism occurred in 1% to 2% of patients within 90 days postdischarge, while 10% of single chamber and 7% of dual-chamber recipients experienced a rehospitalization for a cardiovascular event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1486
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • complications
  • mortality
  • older population
  • pacemaker implantation
  • rehospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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