A study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that replacement heart valves like those made by Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) might not do as much for patients’ quality of life as they do for heart health.
The authors of the report, "Functional Status and Quality of Life After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: A Systematic Review,” examined the results from 62 studies of transcatheter aortic heart implants like Edwards’ Sapien valve and Medtronic’s CoreValve device.
The results showed that TAVI devices showed a "clinically important" decrease in the New York Heart Assn. class at 6 months – 11 months and 12 months – 23 months.
But "[c]linically important improvements were seen in other disease-specific measures but were less consistently seen in general health measures," the study’s authors wrote.
"Transcatheter aortic valve replacement provides clinically important benefits in physical function and disease-specific measures of quality of life but modest benefits in psychological and general health measures. More comparative studies on functional status and quality of life are needed for informed treatment decision making," they wrote.