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Cardiac Arrests in Hispanic Neighborhoods Less Likely to get CPR from Bystanders

Study confirms need to target different communities with CPR training

Bystander CPR training can save lives
Bystander CPR training can save lives
Bystander CPR training can save lives
Bystander CPR training can save lives


Sarah Avery
Sarah Avery 919-660-1306 Email

DURHAM, N.C. – People in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods were less likely to receive CPR from a bystander according to a new study by Duke University School of Medicine researchers published this week in the journal Circulation.

The study, led by Audrey Blewer, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the medical school’s department of Family Medicine & Community Health, confirmed that the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood where a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest has a lot to do with whether they will survive the event. 

“Identifying these disparities highlights an important public health problem and leads us to think about ways to reach these communities, perhaps by tailoring CPR training to them,” said Blewer, who began the study as the assistant director for educational programs at the Center for Resuscitation Science at Penn Medicine. “It’s important to think about whether we’re doing what we need to do to help promote bystander recognition of sudden cardiac arrest and CPR in these communities.”

previous 2017 study, also conducted by Duke researchers, found that the rate of people receiving bystander CPR was also lower in African-American neighborhoods.

The current study analyzed sudden cardiac arrest survival data from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium in which 27,482 arrest events were recorded from 2011-2015. 

Blewer and colleagues compared outcomes in four different types of neighborhoods: less than 25 percent Hispanic; 25 to 50 percent Hispanic; 50 to 75 percent Hispanic; and more than 75 percent Hispanic.  

While Hispanics are the fastest growing minority population in the U.S., few studies have assessed whether the proportion of Hispanics in a neighborhood is associated with bystander CPR delivery and survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The team found that among neighborhoods with less than 25 percent Hispanic residents, CPR was administered in 39 percent of sudden cardiac arrest events, but it was only administered in 27 percent of events in neighborhoods with more than 75 percent Hispanic residents. 

Other authors on the paper included Robert Schmicker, Laurie J. Morrison, Tom P. Aufderheide, Mohamud Daya, Monique A. Starks, Susanne May, Ahamed H. Idris, Clifton W. Callaway, Peter J. Kudenchuk, Gary M. Vilke, Benjamin S. Abella, and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium investigators.

Blewer received funding to conduct this study from the American Heart Association. The primary study was supported by the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.  

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