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Women Less Likely to Survive Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
  • Robert Preidt
  • Posted December 21, 2020

Women Less Likely to Survive Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Women who are resuscitated from cardiac arrest are less likely to receive two common treatments once they arrive at the hospital, and are much more likely to die while hospitalized than men, a new study finds.

The researchers analyzed data gathered on nearly 4,900 resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in the United States and Canada from 2010 to 2015. Of those, just over 37% were women, average age 67, and nearly 63% were men, average age 65.

Rates of survival-to-hospital discharge were 22.5% for women and 36% for men.

Women were much less likely to receive two treatments for cardiac arrest patients after resuscitation: therapeutic hypothermia (cooling the body to a lower-than-normal temperature); and coronary angiography to examine heart arteries and open blood flow.

Rates of hypothermia were 35% for women and 44% for men, while rates of coronary angiography were 14% for women and 30% for men, the investigators found.

Further research is needed to identify the reasons for these differences, according to the authors of the study published online Dec. 15 in the journal Circulation.

The researchers also found that women were: 6% less likely than men to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a bystander; less likely to have a cardiac arrest in public; and less likely to have shockable rhythm.

Having a cardiac arrest in public results in a quicker call to 911 and doubles a patient's chance of survival to hospital discharge. But after resuscitation, both women and men begin recovery from similar starting points, noted study author Dr. Ahamed Idris. He's professor of emergency medicine and internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"Our work points to new directions in how we can work to improve survival in women," Idris said in a medical center news release. "Why are emergency interventions different with women than with men?"

According to study author Dr. Ambarish Pandey, a cardiologist and assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern, "This is one of few studies looking at what happens to people post-resuscitation. Now we need insight into whether these outcomes may be driven by what happens in the hospital. We have a long way to go in providing gender equity in treatment."

About 300,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the United States.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on cardiac arrest.

SOURCE: UT Southwestern, news release, Dec. 15, 2020

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