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Chances of surviving cardiac arrest depends on your neighborhood
Date:5/31/2010

The odds of surviving cardiac arrest may depend on which part of town you call home and whether anyone in the neighborhood comes to your rescue by attempting to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a first-of-its-kind study in the June issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study found that certain neighborhoods in Fulton County, Ga.─which includes Atlanta─have an incidence of cardiac arrest two to three times higher than other parts of the county and fewer bystanders who attempt to perform CPR. Surprisingly, these findings remained across time, meaning that, year after year, residents of these neighborhoods were at the highest risk for a cardiac arrest event, and had the lowest rates of bystander CPR in Fulton County. These neighborhoods tend to have lower median household incomes, more Black residents, and lower education levels.

"These findings have national public health indications. They show that it is time to change our thinking on how and where we conduct CPR training if we are ever going to change the dismal rate of survival from cardiac arrest," said Comilla Sasson, M.D., M.S., lead author of, "Small Area Variations in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: Does the Neighborhood Matter?" who conducted the study as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan. "Nine out of 10 people die from a cardiac arrest event. This number can and must change."

In Fulton County, if rates of CPR performed by bystanders were improved to the level achieved by the highest performing parts of the county, an additional 355 people could receive CPR. This could save an additional 15 lives each year in Fulton County alone.

CPR training often targets young, healthy volunteers who are least likely to encounter an individual in cardiac arrest. However, using Sasson's method, a public health surveillance registry based on that of the CDC can be used to design targeted interv
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Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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