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.

Related Articles


"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 October 30, 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 October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) Visitors take a trip down murderer memory lane at the Museum of Death located in the heart of Hollywood. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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