The rising use of costly implantable defibrillators is worthwhile in terms of improved life expectancy for patients at high risk for cardiac arrest, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Costs for the device typically run from $34,000 to $70,200 per "quality-adjusted life year," and researchers usually consider a treatment to be cost-effective if it is less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted year.

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