August 08, 2013
1 min read

Sudden cardiac arrest survival greater at fitness facilities

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

People experiencing sudden cardiac arrest at exercise facilities have a higher chance of survival than at other indoor locations, likely due to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and access to automated external defibrillators, according to a new report.

The study examined the frequency, treatment and outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest at traditional and alternative exercise facilities. Researchers studied 849 sudden cardiac arrests that occurred at public indoor facilities in Seattle and King County, Wash., from 1996 to 2008.

Location of the sudden cardiac arrest was categorized as occurring at a traditional exercise facility (health club, fitness center; n=52), alternative exercise facility (bowling alley, workplace or hotel gym, dance studio; n=84) or non-exercise facility (bank, restaurant, shopping center, airport; n=713), according to a press release.

Survival rates after sudden cardiac arrest were highest at traditional exercise facilities (56%) and alternative exercise facilities (45%) than at other public indoor locations (34%; P=.001). In 77% of cases, the sudden cardiac arrest occurred during exercise, with only 18% occurring after exercise and 4% before exercise, according to the release. The most common activity performed when the sudden cardiac arrest occurred was basketball (20.5%), following by dancing (11.6%), working out (11.6%), walking/running on treadmill (8.9%), tennis (6.3%), bowling (5.4%) and swimming (4.5%).

“Our findings should encourage broader implementation of and adherence to recommendations for AED placement and sudden cardiac arrest protocols at traditional exercise facilities,” Richard L. Page, MD, FACC, chair of the department of medicine at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, stated in a press release. “In addition, these standards should be extended to alternative fitness facilities, where sudden cardiac arrest incidence is comparable to that seen at traditional exercise facilities.”

Disclosure: See the full study for the researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.