Sudden cardiac arrest is America's top killer—but in the few minutes after it occurs, CPR can save a life. But cardiac arrest victims in lower-income, largely black neighborhoods are just half as likely to receive CPR as those in wealthier, white neighborhoods, a study finds. Those who suffer cardiac arrest in richer black neighborhoods face 23% lower odds of aid from a bystander—and no matter where they are, black and Latino victims are less likely to get CPR, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The gap in cardiac arrest survival rates between cities is in some cases staggering: In Seattle, for instance, it's 16%, compared to 0.2% in Detroit. The latest research investigated more than 14,000 cardiac arrest cases across 29 cities, categorizing areas both by wealth and race makeup. While 28.6% of victims overall received aid, people in low-income, predominantly black neighborhoods were 51% less likely to get CPR; people in poor white areas were 35% less likely to get help. Potential explanations include the cost of CPR training and the sense of crime risk when entering the street to help someone, experts say.