American Heart Association
American Heart Association
November 12, 2017
2 min read

Men more likely than women to receive bystander CPR

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Photo of Audrey Blewer
Audrey Blewer

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Men are more likely to receive bystander CPR in public locations than women and had increased survival after the lifesaving measure, according to research presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

“Prompt delivery of bystander CPR can double a victim’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest (when someone’s heart stops beating),” Audrey Blewer, MPH, assistant director for educational programs at the Center for Resuscitation Science at Penn Medicine, told Cardiology Today. “Bystander CPR rates are low in many U.S. communities and vary by race and socioeconomic status (education and income). There is evidence that gender variation persists when examining treatment for other forms of cardiovascular disease. It is unknown whether male and female victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive bystander CPR at different rates when looking at the home and public locations.”

Blewer and colleagues used data from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium of 19,331 (mean age, 64 years; 63% male) adults with non-traumatic out of hospital cardiac arrest.

Bystander CPR was administered in 37% of events.

Overall, 39% of women received bystander CPR in public compared with 45% of men (P < .01).

Men had a 27% higher chance of receiving bystander CPR (OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.05-1.53, P = .01).

Receiving bystander CPR was associated with survival to discharge (OR = 1.64; 95%, 1.49-1.8, P < .01) and men had increased odds of survival (OR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.12-1.36, P < .01).

There were no significant differences between bystander CPR in the home in women (35%) compared with men (36%; OR = 0.94; 95% CI, 0.87-1.01).

“These findings identify an important gender disparity in the public response to cardiac arrest and delivery of CPR, a crucial factor that is linked to survival outcomes,” Blewer said. “This suggests that there may be inherent barriers to bystander CPR delivery or other biases that remain to be elucidated. This also highlights an important knowledge gap in the resuscitation science literature that we truly need to work to characterize responders to better inform public messaging and training for lay responders, healthcare providers and dispatchers.” – by Cassie Homer


Blewer AL, et al. Presentation 17. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 11-15, 2017; Anaheim, California.

Disclosure: Blewer reports she receives grants from the AHA, the Laerdal Foundation and the NIH.