Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart attack victims in rich, white neighborhoods twice as likely to get CPR than people who collapse in poor, black neighborhoods

Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that those who suffer cardiac arrests in upper income, white neighborhoods are nearly twice as likely to get cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) than people who collapse in low-income, black neighborhoods.

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that those who suffer cardiac arrests in upper income, white neighborhoods are nearly twice as likely to get cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) than people who collapse in low-income, black neighborhoods.

"If you drop in a neighborhood that is 80 percent white with a median income over $40,000 a year, you have a 55 percent chance of getting CPR," said study author Comilla Sasson, MD, an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado Hospital. "If you drop in a poor, black neighborhood you have a 35 percent chance. Life or death can literally be determined by what side of the street you drop on."

The study was published October 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sasson, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, analyzed data from 14,225 patients who suffered cardiac arrests in 29 cities from 2005-2009. She and her colleagues used census data to determine which neighborhood the event took place in, its racial make-up and median household income. Low-income was considered at or below $40,000 a year.

"We found a direct relationship between the median household income and racial composition of a neighborhood and the probability that a person whose heart had stopped would have a bystander perform CPR," the study said. "This association was most apparent in low-income black neighborhoods where the odds of receiving bystander- initiated CPR were approximately 50 percent lower than in high-income, nonblack neighborhoods."

A number of reasons were identified for this disparity. One is the cost of CPR training. Another is a lack of outreach to minority neighborhoods by organizations that promote CPR. And there are also language barriers and cultural issues surrounding the learning and performance of CPR.

Part of the study involved conducting focus groups in poor neighborhoods. In one area of Columbus, OH residents had median incomes of $20,000.

"If they paid $250 for a CPR class you are talking about 15 percent of their salary," Sasson said. "When you look at the competing economic interests -- am I going to eat tonight or attend a CPR class? -- the answer is obvious."

Yet the consequences are also obvious.

According to the study, there are 300,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year with survival rates that vary wildly from 0.2 percent in Detroit to 16 percent in Seattle. The difference can be explained in large part to intervention with CPR.

"For every 20 who get CPR you get one life saved," Sasson said. "So you are talking about thousands of lives being saved here."

The problem isn't only about income. Even in wealthier black neighborhoods, those who had cardiac arrest were 23 percent less likely to receive CPR than in high-income nonblack neighborhoods.

And the study showed that regardless of the neighborhood where a cardiac arrest occurs, blacks and Hispanics were 30 percent less likely than whites to receive CPR from a bystander.

"This suggests that, neighborhood effects, though important, do not fully account for observed racial differences," the study said.

Sasson called for more targeted, low-cost CPR training efforts based on the income and racial composition of neighborhoods. She is also working on creating public health programs aimed at increasing bystander-given CPR in specific communities.

As a doctor who once practiced in a level one trauma center in Atlanta, Sasson has witnessed first-hand the human toll of this inequity.

"I would see African-Americans coming in and dying from cardiac arrests after having laid there for 10 minutes with no one delivering CPR," she said. "There is no reason in 2012 that this kind of disparity exists -- that you live or die depending on what side of the street you drop on. It is simply unacceptable."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Comilla Sasson, David J. Magid, Paul Chan, Elisabeth D. Root, Bryan F. McNally, Arthur L. Kellermann, Jason S. Haukoos. Association of Neighborhood Characteristics with Bystander-Initiated CPR. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012; 367 (17): 1607 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1110700

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Heart attack victims in rich, white neighborhoods twice as likely to get CPR than people who collapse in poor, black neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175518.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2012, October 24). Heart attack victims in rich, white neighborhoods twice as likely to get CPR than people who collapse in poor, black neighborhoods. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175518.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Heart attack victims in rich, white neighborhoods twice as likely to get CPR than people who collapse in poor, black neighborhoods." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121024175518.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins