Preventing tomorrow's sudden cardiac death today: part II: Translating sudden cardiac death risk assessment strategies into practice and policy

Gillian D Sanders, Sana M Al-Khatib, Elise Berliner, J Thomas Bigger, Alfred E Buxton, Robert M Califf, Mark Carlson, Anne B Curtis, Jeptha P Curtis, Michael Domanski, Eric Fain, Bernard J Gersh, Michael R Gold, Jeffrey Goldberger, Ali Haghighi-Mood, Stephen C Hammill, Joel Harder, Jeffrey Healey, Mark A Hlatky, Stefan H Hohnloser, Kerry L Lee, Daniel B Mark, Brent Mitchell, Steve Phurrough, Eric Prystowsky, Joseph M Smith, Norman Stockbridge, Robert Temple et al.
American Heart Journal 2007, 153 (6): 951-9
Although current evidence supporting a more precise strategy for identifying patients at highest risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) is sparse, strategies for translating existing and future evidence into clinical practice and policy are needed today. A great many unanswered questions exist. Examples include the following: At what level of risk for SCD should we pursue further testing or therapy? How should clinical strategies ethically and economically balance alternative outcomes? How can we best translate optimal strategies into clinical practice so as to prevent tomorrow's SCDs? On July 20 and 21, 2006, a group of individuals with expertise in clinical cardiovascular medicine, biostatistics, economics, and health policy was joined by government (Food and Drug Administration; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), professional societies (Heart Rhythm Society), and industry to discuss strategies for risk assessment and prevention of SCD. The meeting was organized by the Duke Center for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. This article, the second of 2 documents, summarizes the policy discussions of that meeting, discusses an analytic framework for evaluating the risks and benefits associated with SCD prevention and risk stratification, and addresses the translation of SCD risk assessment strategies into practice and policy.

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