Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether gender differences exist in the characteristics and outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) occurring in a rural setting. Background: In urban settings, women have a lower incidence of OHCA than men but otherwise a comparable survival for ventricular fibrillation (VF) OHCA. Whether OHCA gender differences exist in rural settings is not clear. Methods: The study consisted of a prospective collection and analysis of nontraumatic, adult OHCA prompting a 911 call in six rural Indiana counties. Results: Over an average period of 2.2 years, 138 women and 250 men experienced OHCA (annual incidence rate: 56.4 per 100,000 men and 29.3 per 100,000 women). Women were older, less likely to experience OHCA in a public setting, more likely to be in an extended care facility, and less likely to have a witnessed arrest than were men. Women were less likely to present with an initial rhythm of VF than men (33.3% vs 53.6%, P > .001). Women in VF had a longer time interval from 911 call to first shock compared with men. Women had poorer survival to hospital discharge for all OHCA (2.2% vs 7.2%, P = .04) and VF OHCA (2.2% vs 13.4%, P = .05) compared with men. After age adjustment, female gender remained associated with a poorer OHCA survival outcome. With adjustment for all significant arrest characteristics, female gender was no longer associated with survival. Conclusions: In a rural population, women suffering OHCA have a dismal survival rate likely because of multiple unfavorable arrest characteristics.
- Heart arrest
- Sudden cardiac death
- Ventricular fibrillation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine