St Jude Medical has announced the results of a study that demonstrates the effectiveness of implantable device monitoring as a way to predict the risk of stroke in elderly patients.

The trial, which involved more than 2,500 pacemaker patients, found that patients who had device-detected arrhythmias were 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke than patients who did not.

All the patients in the trials were older than 65 years of age and had hypertension, but no history of atrial fibrillation.

Dr Jeff Healey, principal investigator, said that the trial showed that doctors could identify patients at risk of stroke early by using information already available in implantable pacemakers.