Study: Blacks do worse than whites after cardiac arrest in hospital

Blacks patients seem to be more likely than white patients to die after cardiac arrest in the hospital, according to a new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

To determine whether there were ethnic differences in post-cardiac arrest survival rates, researchers collected data on 10,011 patients from the National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation from 274 hospitals. About 19 percent of the patients studied were black.

While survival rates for whites having an arrest in a hospital are about 30 to 33 percent on average, the rate for blacks was about 25  percent. Part of the reason for this difference was that black patients were sicker when they had the arrest, but that's only part of the story.

Another important factor in survival was the hospital where patients were treated. About one-third of the difference came from the fact that black patients were having arrests in hospitals that did worse in terms of survival for all their patients, researchers reported.

To learn more about the study's results:
- read this HealthDay News piece