Poorer people less likely to get immediate CPR after cardiac arrest in hospital, study finds

POORER people are less likely to get immediate CPR after a cardiac arrest in hospital, a study found.

Wealthier patients were 15 per cent more likely to survive another month, Swedish experts found.

In the study, scientists found hospital patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to receive CPR after their hearts stop beating than those from a higher socioeconomic background.

Study author Professor Jens Agerström, from Linnaeus University in Kalmar and Växjö, Sweden, said: "It is known that people with lower SES are less likely to survive a sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital setting compared to those of higher SES.

"But until now, it has not been clear whether this was the case for patients already in hospital where they could expect to receive the same standard of care regardless of their backgrounds."

In their study, Prof Agerström and colleagues found that patients in hospital with higher incomes and education were significantly less likely to experience a delay in receiving CPR after a cardiac arrest, and significantly more likely to survive until discharge from hospital and for 30 days after the cardiac arrest.

Prof Agerström said: "The good news is that for most of the cardiac arrest cases in this study, socioeconomic status didn't seem to matter.

"Nevertheless, there seems to be a significant number of deaths that can still be attributed to socioeconomic factors, even when we take account of things that could affect the results such as gender, age, ethnicity, other health conditions, cause of the cardiac arrest, and the specific hospital providing the treatment."

Findings suggest 28 per cent of people from a low socioeconomic background will survive for 30 days after a cardiac arrest.

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