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The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: postcode prescribing in the UK 1998–2002
  1. A D Cunningham1,
  2. C J Plummer2,
  3. J M McComb2,
  4. S W Lord,
  5. M W Cunningham1,
  6. J-M Toussaint3,
  7. A F Rickards1
  1. 1National Pacemaker and ICD Database, UK
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3International Health Market Trends, France
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr David Cunningham
    PO Box 9205, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire PA11 3DZ, UK;


Objective: To determine the rate of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation across the UK during the period 1998 to 2002.

Design: Observational self reporting with cross checking.

Setting: All ICD implanting centres coordinated by the National Pacemaker and ICD Database.

Patients: Every patient receiving an ICD in the UK from 1998 to 2002.

Main outcome measures: Date of implantation and postcode of each ICD recipient during the study period.

Results: ICD implantation increased in the UK in the five year period studied but fell far short of the European average and national targets. Implantation rates varied greatly by region.

Conclusions: The low rate of ICD implantation in the UK and the disparity between regions require further study to determine the barriers to this evidence based treatment.

  • ICD
  • implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

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  • Published Online First 29 March 2005

  • The assistance of Medtronic UK in this work was invaluable. It should be stressed that all individual and aggregate hospital data remained confidential to the National Pacemaker Database, according to its code of practice, and was not divulged to industry representatives. Individual hospital data can be disclosed only to authorised personnel from that hospital, by contacting Morag Cunningham at 01505 612829 (email: