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Medtronic Launches Public Awareness Campaign to Address One of the Nation’s Leading Causes of Death


New Direct-to-Consumer Advertising Part of Campaign Designed to Educate Those at Greatest Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 15, 2007 – Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced today the launch of a national campaign designed to raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), its risk factors, and the role of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy in saving lives. SCA is the one of the nation’s leading causes of death – claiming more lives than breast cancer, lung cancer, and HIV/AIDS combined1,2,3.

“Today, nearly 1,000 Americans will die of sudden cardiac arrest – many of these deaths could have been prevented with ICD therapy,” said Steve Mahle, president of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management at Medtronic. “We believe that more can be done to reach the hundreds of thousands of people who we know could benefit from ICD therapy, but remain unprotected. Ultimately, we believe this campaign will help save more lives.”

The comprehensive campaign includes advertising; patient and caregiver information resources; physician education programs and outreach; and ongoing clinical research on SCA and the use of ICD therapy. The advertising begins this week with the launch of print, television, and online advertising in the U.S.

The ads, themed “What’s Inside,” show the link between medical device technology and the benefits people can experience by living with ICD therapy. The ads encourage those who may be at greatest risk of SCA – people who have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart failure – to visit or call 866-950-5550 for more information, including an SCA risk assessment that can be used to facilitate a discussion with a physician.

“As the leader in implantable cardiac devices, we believe it’s our responsibility to help ensure that those at greatest risk of SCA are informed about their choices so they can work together with their physicians to determine what’s right for them,” said David Steinhaus, MD, vice president and medical director of Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management at Medtronic. “The right treatment – in many cases ICD therapy, as supported by current medical guidelines – provides peace of mind knowing that if you experience SCA, you will likely survive.”

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function. Most SCA episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the U.S. are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected. In fact, less than 35 percent of patients who are indicated for an ICD have one.

Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. A heart attack is a malfunction caused by blockage in a vessel that supplies blood to the heart, which may permanently damage part of the heart. Unlike SCA, most people survive a first heart attack. SCA is an “electrical” malfunction of the heart that results in no blood flow to the body or the brain. Sudden cardiac arrest is 95 percent fatal if left untreated.

ICDs are highly reliable and are proven to be 98 percent effective in treating dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to SCA.4

About Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are designed to treat dangerously fast heart rhythms. The ICD was introduced in the early 1980s, and has been referred to as “an emergency room in the chest.” Today, an ICD is smaller than a cellphone and is implanted in the upper chest. It continuously monitors the electrical conduction system of the heart, watching for dangerous patterns and delivering electrical impulses when needed that may range from a tiny pulse like a cardiac pacemaker’s to a full, life-saving shock that can return the heart to normal rhythm.

About Medtronic Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM)
The Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business at Medtronic, Inc. develops implantable pacemakers and defibrillators, monitoring and diagnostic devices, and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, including the first commercially approved implantable device for the treatment of heart failure.

About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.


Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 28, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

1 American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2006 Update.
2 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures. 2006.
3 CIA. The World Fact Book – Rank Order – HIV/AIDS – deaths. Available at
4 Zipes, DP, Roberts D. Results of the international study of the implantable pacemaker cardioverter-defibrillator. A comparison of epicardial and endocardial lead systems. The Pacemaker-Cardioverter-Defibrillator Investigators. Circulation. July 1, 1995:92(1):59-65.


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