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A total of 381 patients with established (156) or potential (225) sinoatrial dysfunction were included in a 10-year prospective survey to determine the course of the disease and the benefits of pacing. With the exclusion of nine patients who were lost to follow-up, 61 were fitted with pacemakers. The overall survival of patients with established and potential dysfunction was similar and apparently indistinguishable from that of the normal population. Pacemaker implantation had little discernible effect on mortality though it reduced some incapacitating symptoms. These findings suggest that sinoatrial dysfunction is a relatively benign condition. Hence pacing should probably not be adopted as a routing measure but be reserved for patients with troublesome symptoms.

Original publication




Journal article


Br Med J

Publication Date





139 - 141


Cardiac Pacing, Artificial, England, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Sick Sinus Syndrome