ER and Public Health Professor: Likelihood of Bystander CPR Greater in Higher-Income Neighborhoods

Nov. 5, 2012

Bryan McNallyA passerby is more likely to give CPR to a stranger in an affluent white neighborhood than in a poor black neighborhood, according to a study published in the Oct. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and co-authored by Bryan McNally, associate professor in Emory’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health told Reuters Health.

In the study, “Association of Neighborhood Characteristics with Bystander-Initiated CPR,” researchers analyzed a nationwide database of cardiac arrest incidents that occurred outside of a hospital in twenty-nine non-rural parts of the United States. They determined how a neighborhood’s income and racial make up affects the probability of bystander-initiated CPR.

“We’ve seen for many years that certain communities have a higher likelihood of a patient getting CPR,” McNally told Reuters Health. “This is pointing out that within communities there is variation in the local or neighborhood area.”

According to McNally and his colleagues, among 14,225 patients who suffered a cardiac arrest, nearly a third received bystander-initiated CPR. But patients were less likely to receive CPR if they were stricken in a low-income or predominantly black neighborhood. In fact, the odds of a passerby giving CPR were 50 percent lower in low-income black neighborhoods than in high-income non-black neighborhoods.

The authors concluded that “public health efforts that target CPR training to low-income black neighborhoods may help reduce these disparities.”

The results, McNally told Reuters, “may help guide decision making about where to put our resources.” 

To read the full Reuters article, click here.

To read the full story in the Emory News Center, click here.

Latest News

What's New Archive