Am three months post pacemaker and this was done for bradycardia and 3rd degree heart block. Concerned re what is classed as an underlying health condition. The government is talking about the elderly and those with conditions may need to isolate... does anyone know ? Thank you 



by CMH22567 - 2020-03-15 06:14:21

Hi, I am the same as you. I  heard we would have a 50% mortality rate. Im 49 yrs old. 



by Gemita - 2020-03-15 06:48:47

My understanding of an underlying health condition which would make us more vulnerable if we were to get Coronavirus would be conditions like CHF (Congestive heart failure), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Cancer especially if treatment is required like chemotherapy which would potentially undermine (weaken) our immune systems, Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease - in fact any major illness or disease process likely to undermine our immune systems.  A pacemaker in itself should pose no major or additional risk factor, providing we do not have any major health problems (like stated above) and providing the implant has caused no complications like an infection.

I am 71 and hubby is 81.  We both have pacemakers.  We both have several major health conditions.  We just hope that we can remain well and are doing everything possible to build a strong immune system - that really is our best defence.

Good luck everyone and stay well


by Selwyn - 2020-03-15 07:24:58

The Lancet Medical Journal :

Estimates vary as to the % of cases needing ventilation support. Between 1%, or at its worst 10%. ( as at present in Itialy). This will overwhelm normal hospital ICU capacity. 

Of the patients that have died with Covir-19,  42.2% were aged 80-89, 32.4% were 70-79, 8.4% were aged 60-69, and 2.8% were aged 50-59. The male to female death rate is 80:20 %

The majority of those dying also had underlying health problems: heart, lung, cancer, defecitve immunity  ( eg. diabetics, steroid ).

Whilst Gemita writes about pacemaker recipients is true- we are not at additional risk with regard to this infection, many of us have other illness, in this respect as you can see from the mortality figures Gemita's age puts them into 1/3d group for those known to have died with the infection ( if not from the infection).

The wearing of face masks is only necessary if you are being coughed over. eg. hospital staff treating patients. Droplet infection is possible. Keeping distance from others ( 2 metres) is a reasonable precaution. I may continue to play table tennis! 

Hand washing is very important as the virus spreads by contact. Locard's Law of forensics applies: if you touch something then there is transfer from you to that, and that to you. Hand washing needs to be done in a proper fashion ( a quick swipe under a tap is not hand washing!) - see the www. for details. The virus gains entry via mouth, eyes, and nose. Keep fingers away from your face!

Children carry this virus with little signs of illness. If you are at risk, then avoid children contact ( in any event tryijng to get a snotty nose child to use a tissue is an uphill struggle).

As the incidence of infection peaks the health services will be overwhelmed. Our Government knows this is the case and is waiting for increased numbers in the UK before advice to 'lockdown' to protect the most vulnerable in our society, as in that way we hope to have enough assisted ventilation available to deal with those that need it.  ie. to spread out the peak, the mathematical modelling is as per the Lancet paper. 

Already in Italy the most very ill are not getting to be ventilated as there is a priority for expectation of recovery and the use of resources.

Further reading in the Lancet is:

The situation is changing almost day by day.

I have enough other illnesses to be really concerned as to my chances with this virus. Keep away from people, wash your hands if you handle anything outside of your home.  I have to attend a number of hospital appointments in the next couple of weeks- it will be a challenge !

If you are fit and well, young, and have a pacemaker, your risk is the same as the general population minus those in the at risk groups. Having a pacemaker alone does not put you at increased risk.


by Jeff F - 2020-03-15 08:11:55

Thanks, Gemita and Selwyn, for your thoughts on this matter. I was wondering the same.



by Snowdog - 2020-03-15 18:06:08

My doctor has assured me that with a pacemaker I am no more at risk than the next person. I am 49 years old and have av block II / III. I was getting worried as we are in lockdown tomorrow but I still have to work as I work in a supermarket!!! 

I agree

by Pacer2019 - 2020-03-15 19:29:29

The numbers I have heard based on age :

80+ 14%
70-79 8%
60-69 3.8%

goes down from there .

understand ..,. Even in those age groups health conditions are a factor .... mortality is likely higher with age because there are more with health issues .

i have a pacemaker , am 57 , and I'm better physical condition than most everyone I know regardless of age - I don't believe I'm any more age risk than average .

like someone said - COPD, CHF , etc ..... that changes things and regardless of age.

im still being cautious !

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Your old device becomes a paper weight for your desk.

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