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D. How To Choose The Right Pacemaker

Narrator: This is Science Today. There are two types of pacemakers - dual and single chamber. While the dual chamber model mimics the heart's natural function more closely, researchers have found there's really not a big difference in terms of how well patients do with either pacemaker. Dr. Lee Goldman of the University of California, San Francisco led the study.

Goldman: We measured quality of life from a whole variety of directions. Such things as functional status...what can someone do? Emotional and psychologic well-being. How happy are you with the things that you can do? The differences between two kinds of pacemakers were trivial compared with those differences.

Narrator: The dual chamber pacemakers are used more in the United States and in younger patients.

Goldman: It looks as though to us, that most of those are simply preconceived notions among doctors as to who might benefit most from these different kinds of pacemakers. Patients should talk with their doctors about what kind they're putting in. Not just assume that all pacemakers are the same.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.