Healthcare Industry News:  mitral valve 

Devices Surgery Cardiology

 News Release - August 4, 2006

Newly Published Guidelines for Treatment of Heart Valve Disease Lower Recommended Age for Tissue Valve Recipients

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Aug. 4, 2006--St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ ) today recognized the significance of new published guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease, developed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). A summary of the guidelines was published in the Aug. 1, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation.

The new recommendations offer the first comprehensive update to physician practice guidelines in this area since 1998. New data have led to more specific guidelines for physicians to manage the complexity of heart valve disease, including determining the severity of the disease and the appropriate timing for heart valve surgery.

An ACC-AHA joint committee revised the guidelines for tissue valve replacement, lowering the recommended minimum age for tissue mitral valve patients from 70 to 65 years. In changing the age recommendations, the committee acknowledged that today's tissue valves are demonstrating increased durability. The committee also concluded that current-generation porcine valves have the same durability as pericardial tissue valves.

"The updated guidelines reflect significant advancements in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies to treat heart valve disease," said George J. Fazio, president of St. Jude Medical's Cardiac Surgery Division. "The St. Jude Medical Biocor(TM) and Epic(TM)(a) stented tissue valves provide outstanding durability in both the aortic and more challenging mitral positions, a critical factor when selecting a tissue valve for the younger patients who would be affected by the new guidelines. We look forward to making St. Jude Medical's portfolio of heart valve products available to a wider group of patients consistent with the new ACC-AHA guidelines and physicians' clinical judgment."

St. Jude Medical continues to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the field of cardiac surgery through the development of the widest offering of cardiac surgery technologies and therapies, including tissue and mechanical heart valves, valve repair technologies and devices for cardiac ablation.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical is dedicated to making life better for cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide through excellence in medical device technology and services. The company has five major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, cardiology and neuromodulation. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., St. Jude Medical employs approximately 10,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.sjm.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include the expectations, plans and prospects for the Company, including potential clinical success, regulatory approvals, anticipated future product launches, revenues, margins, earnings, and market shares. The statements made by the Company are based upon management's current expectations and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include market conditions and other factors beyond the Company's control and the risk factors and other cautionary statements described in the Company's filings with the SEC, including the risk factors described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 16, 2006 (see Item 1A on pages 15-21) and the cautionary statements described in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2006 (see pages 29-30). The Company does not intend to update these statements and undertakes no duty to any person to provide any such update under any circumstance.

(a) Epic valves are not commercially available in the U.S.


Source: St. Jude Medical

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