An Arresting Development
Sudden cardiac arrest is more prevalent in poor neighborhoods in North America—and the disparity is especially evident among people under 65 years of age—finds a study led by Sumeet Chugh, MD, associate director for Genomic Cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. The study evaluated the correlation between socioeconomic status and the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest, a condition that accounts for a substantial proportion of cardiovascular-related deaths.
Dr. Chugh’s team examined data on 9,235 sudden cardiac arrests in seven U.S. and Canadian cities. They found that the rate of cardiac arrest increased as median income dropped, and the trend was stronger in the U.S. than in Canada—a distinction that Dr. Chugh says needs further investigation. However, results from other studies indicate Canadian access to universal healthcare might be a factor. Canadians may have undergone more preventive care for cardiac health than Americans, who may have more cost concerns—particularly those who are younger than 65 and therefore not yet eligible for Medicare.