Gender Discrepancies Found in Post-Cardiac Arrest Care

Women are more likely to die following a cardiac arrest than men.

Women who have a cardiac arrest are less likely to receive care that improves survival compared with men, a recent study found.

Researchers in the study, published in Journal of the American Heart Association, used data from hospital discharge records from 1.4 million patients who had a cardiac arrest and were admitted to acute-care hospitals. Researchers discovered that women were 25% less likely to receive a coronary angiography, which is a procedure that searches for blocked coronary arteries.

Women were also 29% less likely to have an angioplasty, and 19% were less likely to be treated with therapeutic hypothermia that can reduce the risk of brain damage, according to the study.

"But the troublesome part of our paper is that just as with many other treatments we're still not doing as good a job with women as men,” said study lead author Luke Kim, MD. “Women tend to get less immediate care when time is essential."

Researchers found that 64% of women died and 61% of men died during treatment for cardiac arrest during the study. Women were less likely to have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease and more likely to have other health problems.

However, researchers do not know the cause of the significant gender gap between treatments. The study found that educational outreach in the community could improve survival rates and more people should be educated about cardiac arrest, CRP, and defibrillators.

“Cardiac arrest is one of the few medical emergencies where there's a huge impact due to how the public responds to it,” concluded Dr Kim. “If someone can get to a patient right away and do CPR, that patient has a chance.”