Incidents of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in adults are the third-highest rate of health loss due to fatal and nonfatal disease burden, according to findings published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Ryan A. Coute, DO, of the department of emergency medicine at the Alabama University School of Medicine, and colleagues sought to identify the disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) following nontraumatic, emergency medical services (EMS)-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and compare the rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest DALYs with other leading causes of death and disability in the United States.
“Many cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital, and our results show that bystander interventions reduce death and disability, underscoring the importance of bystander CPR and [automated external defibrillator] education, as well as national cardiac arrest surveillance,” Coute said in a press release.
The researchers calculated DALYs into the years of life lost and years lived with disability. Years of life lost were calculated using all adult nontraumatic-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with complete data from the 2016 CARES database and actuarial data for remaining life expectancy at the age of death, Coute and colleagues wrote.
The researchers identified 59,752 adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. DALYs for the study population were 1,194,993 (years of life lost = 1,194,069; years lived with disability = 923).
DALYs following adult nontraumatic EMS-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States were estimated at 4,354,192 (years of life lost = 4,350,825; years lived with disability = 3,365), Coute and colleagues wrote.
The out-of-hospital cardiac arrest DALY rate of 1,347 adults per 100,000 population was third in the United States compared with ischemic heart disease (n = 2,447 per 100,000) and neck pain (n = 1,565 per 100,000), the researchers wrote.
Bystander CPR was associated with 25,317 healthy life-years saved, and bystander CPR plus automated external defibrillator use was associated with 35,407 healthy life-years saved, according to the researchers.
“Cardiac arrest is unique because survival is dependent on the timely response of bystanders, medical dispatch, EMS personnel, physicians and hospital staff,” Coute said in the press release. “We hope that the results of our study provide an opportunity to emphasize the fact that ‘cardiac arrest’ and ‘heart attack’ are not synonymous. Our results may also help inform funding agencies and policymakers regarding how to best utilize limited resources to improve public health.” – by Earl Holland Jr.
Disclosures: Coute reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.