Objective: To evaluate whether there is a difference in characteristics and outcome in relation to gender among patients who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrest.
Design: Observational study.
Setting: The community of Göteborg.
Patients: All patients in the community of Göteborg who suffered out of hospital cardiac arrest between 1980 and 1996, and in whom cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was initiated.
Main outcome measures: Factors at resuscitation and the proportion of patients being hospitalized and discharged from hospital. P values were corrected for age.
Results: The women were older than the men (median of 73 vs. 69 years; P < 0.0001), they received bystander-CPR less frequently (11 vs. 15%; P = 0.003), they were found in ongoing ventricular fibrillation less frequently (28 vs. 44%; P < 0.0001), and their arrests were judged to be of cardiac origin less frequently. In a multivariate analysis considering age, gender, arrest being due to a cardiac etiology, initial arrhythmia and by-stander initiated CPR, female gender appeared as an independent predictor for patients being brought to hospital alive (odds ratio 1.37; P = 0.001) but not for patients being discharged from hospital.
Conclusion: Among patients who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrest with attempted CPR women differ from men being older, receive bystander CPR less frequently, have a cardiac etiology less frequently and are found in ventricular fibrillation less frequently. Finally female gender is associated with an increased chance of arriving at hospital alive.