Race and Survival After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in a Suburban Community

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Study objective:

To determine whether race, when controlled for income, is an independent predictor of survival to hospital discharge after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).


Prospective OHCA data were collected over 4 years (1991-1994) from a convenience sample of OHCA patients transported to nine hospitals in three suburban counties. Race was determined from hospital and vital statistics records. The average household income was identified from ZIP codes and used as a marker of socioeconomic status. Demographic data and known predictors of survival were compared between blacks and whites. A logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between race, income, and survival.


Of the 1,690 patients, 223 (13%) were blacks and 1,467 (87%) were whites. Average household income was less for blacks than for whites ($40,225 versus$46,193; P<.001), but both populations were affluent by national standards (national percentile ranks were 73% and 88%, respectively). The populations were no different in percentage of witnessed arrests (57% versus 61%; P=.465). Blacks were younger (mean±SD, 62±16 versus 68±15 years;P<.001); less frequently received bystander CPR (11% versus 20%; P=.002); less often had ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation (37% versus 50%;P<.001); and had a shorter advanced life support call-response interval (median, 4 versus 6 minutes;P<.001). The odds ratio for survival (white/black) was .931(95% confidence interval,.446 to 1.945).


Race was not found to predict adverse OHCA outcomes in this affluent population.

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