Clinical paper| Volume 169, P115-123, December 2021

Racial differences in outcomes and utilization after cardiac arrest in the USA: A longitudinal study comparing different geographical regions in the USA from 2006–2018



      Healthcare disparities can affect access and quality of care among many in the United States (US). In addition to race, we sought to assess if geography affected rates of cardiac arrest, and the subsequent outcomes.


      Using the National Inpatient Sample database from 2006–2018, we assessed rates of cardiac arrest (out of hospital that survived to admission and in-hospital) and cardiac catheterization, and length of stay (LOS) in four regions: Northeast (NE), South (SO) West (W) and Midwest (MW).


      Cardiac arrest increased from 27,611 (2006) to 43,333 (2018). The proportion of African American (AA) patients experiencing cardiac arrest significantly increased from 11.9% to 18.8%. The mortality decreased from 65.4% to 60.8% in all patients and 70.2% to 61.4% in AA. Mortality in AA remained higher than non-AA (OR, 1.09 [1.08–1.11], p < 0.001). When regions were compared for mortality, MW had a lower risk than NE 0.94[0.92–9.96]; SO 1.05[1.04–1.07] and W 1.11[1.09–1.13] were higher compared to NE. LOS decreased slightly from 9.0 days to 8.7 in all patients. LOS for AA was longer than non-AA (11.3 vs 8.6 days) with the NE having the longest LOS. AA were less likely to receive cardiac catheterization than non-AA (9.5% vs 15%) with the largest racial gap in the MW region.


      The proportion of AA with cardiac arrests increased over the study period. Mortality and LOS improved significantly in AA from 2006 to 2018 but remain significantly higher than non-AA patients. Future research should identify contributors to these concerning trends.


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