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We evaluated the benefits of physiological pacing in the elderly by recruiting 13 subjects > 75 years of age, already fitted with a physiological pacing system. All had been paced for complete or Mobitz II heart block. Double blind cross over study was performed comparing exercise capacity, measuring distance walked on a 6-min walking test and time taken to climb two flights of stairs; and symptoms, evaluated by an activity of daily living questionnaire, in atrioventricular synchronous and ventricular pacing. Mean distance walked was significantly higher in atrioventricular synchronous than in ventricular pacing (360 +/- 65 m vs. 327 +/- 69 m; P < 0.01). No significant difference was found in the ability to climb stairs but there was a marked improvement in the symptomatic questionnaire score, 19 +/- 5 in physiological pacing increasing to 28 +/- 10 with ventricular. Physiological pacing in the elderly produces an increase in exercise tolerance and improves symptoms; therefore, age alone should not be a contraindication to a physiological system.


Journal article


Int J Cardiol

Publication Date





129 - 133


Activities of Daily Living, Adaptation, Physiological, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cardiac Pacing, Artificial, Cross-Over Studies, Double-Blind Method, Exercise Test, Female, Heart Block, Humans, Male, Physical Endurance, Treatment Outcome, Walking