Implantable heart defibrillators (ICDs) may help elderly patients live longer, according to new research.

Researchers from the UCLA Medical Center analysed data from 4,685 elderly men and women with heart failure who participated in a heart failure treatment trial.

It was found that death rates were significantly lower in patients with ICDs than in those without.

The ICD usage reduced the risk of death at three years by 29%, investigators said.