Health-related quality of life of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators compared with that of pacemaker recipients

Margret Leosdottir, Engilbert Sigurdsson, Gudrun Reimarsdottir, Gizur Gottskalksson, Bjarni Torfason, Margret Vigfusdottir, Sveinn Eggertsson, David O. Arnar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Studies indicate a poorer quality of life (QoL) for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients than for the general population. However, studies comparing the QoL of ICD patients with that of patients with other implantable cardiac devices are scarce. We hypothesized that ICD patients had a poorer QoL than pacemaker patients. Methods and results: All ICD patients living in Iceland at the beginnin g of 2002 (44 subjects), and a comparison group of 81 randomly selected patients with pacemakers were invited to participate. The Icelandic Quality of Life Questionnaire (IQL), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were submitted to measure QoL, psychiatric distress, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. The ICD and pacemaker groups did not differ on IQL, BAI, BDI, or GHQ scores. ICD patients were as a group more fearful of death (P = 0.056) and showed more concerns about returning to work (P = 0.072), although these items fell just short of statistical significance. Conclusion: Contrary to our expectations, ICD patients had a comparable QoL with pacemaker recipients and were not more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, or general psychiatric distress. These findings are encouraging in view of expanding ICD indications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

Other keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • Pacemakers
  • Quality of life


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