Research shows racial disparities in bystander AED use

Black and Hispanic neighborhoods were found to have lower rates of bystander AED use than white neighborhoods


By Laura French

HOUSTON — Texas researchers have published a study revealing racial disparities in bystander AED use. 

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation by University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) researchers, found that Black neighborhoods had a significantly lower rate of bystander AED use relative to non-Hispanic/Latino white neighborhoods, according to a UTHealth news release. Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods were also found to have lower rates of AED use. 

A recent study by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston researchers found racial disparities in bystander AED use through an analysis of 18,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.
A recent study by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston researchers found racial disparities in bystander AED use through an analysis of 18,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. (Photo/AAIREY, Pixabay)

Additionally, the study found that lower income was associated with a lower rate of bystander CPR and AED use and survival to hospital discharge, as were lower high school graduation and higher unemployment rates.

Ryan Huebinger, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UTHealth's McGovern Medical School, led a team of researchers in the analysis of data from 18,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The researchers wrote that the findings identified an opportunity to improve training and access to information about AEDs to better serve minority and underrepresented neighborhoods. 

"Through these efforts we can hopefully close the gap and save lives," Huebinger said in a statement. 

Huebinger received the American Heart Association's Young Investigator Award for his role in the research. 

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