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Cardiac arrest may be fatal for those living in high rise buildings

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New York: Survival rates from cardiac arrest decrease the higher up the building a person lives, warns a new study.

“Cardiac arrests that occur in high-rise buildings pose unique barriers for 911 — the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan, initiated first responders,” said lead author Ian Drennan, researcher with Rescu at the St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Building access issues, elevator delays and extended distance from the emergency vehicle to the patient can all contribute to longer times for 911-initiated first responders to reach the patient and start time-sensitive, potentially life-saving resuscitation, the researchers explained.

The number of people living in high-rise building grew by 13 percent in Toronto, in 2006- 2011.

Many of those people are older, with higher rates of serious medical issues and higher risk of cardiac arrest.

The researchers found that only 3.8 percent adults survived, out of a data of 8,216 adults (from January 2007 to December 2012), after suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and were treated by 911-initiated first responders in Toronto and Peel Region.

Survival was 4.2 percent for people living below the third floor and 2.6 percent for people living on or above the third floor.

Survival above the 16th floor was 0.9 per cent (of 216 cases, only two survived). There were no survivors to hospital discharge of the 30 cardiac arrests above the 25th floor.

“Patients who survived tended to be younger, their cardiac arrest was more often witnessed by bystanders, and bystanders were more likely to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) — a lifesaving technique useful in especially in heart attack,” Drennan said.

The paper was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (IANS)

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Know Your ‘Heart Age’ to Avert Attack

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking

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Know Your 'Heart Age' to Avert Attack
Know Your 'Heart Age' to Avert Attack. Pixabay

You are more likely to adopt healthy lifestyle if you know your ‘Heart Age’ rather than just knowing the “chances” of your developing a cardiovascular disease, claims a study.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer, but doctors have long struggled to explain risk factors to patients in a way that encourages them to change their behaviour — thus reducing risk.

Risk scores for diseases such as CVD are usually presented as a “percent chance” of contracting the disease within the next 10 years.

Researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, carried out the study amongst 3,153 patients, who were randomly assigned to one of three groups before completing an annual health assessment.

One group was then presented with their chances of contracting CVD expressed as a “percentage risk”, while another received the same information expressed as their estimated “Heart Age”.

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Representational image. Pixabay

A third control group only received general guidance on healthy living. Follow-up measurements were recorded a year later during the subsequent annual health assessment.

Patients who were told their Heart Age were far more likely to take action to live healthier lifestyles, such as quitting smoking.

“We know that traditional risks scores can be confusing. We wanted to test whether using the Heart Age Calculator to talk to patients about their CVD risk would have an effect on motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles and, in turn, reduce their risk of developing CVD,” said Pedro Tauler, the lead author of the study.

Also Read: Smokers Lack Motivation, Get Tired Easily

The results showed that patients who had been told their CVD risk (both as a percentage or Heart Age) demonstrated significant decreases in their risk scores compared to the control group, with improvements being greatest in the Heart Age group.

Quitting rate for smokers was four times greater in the Heart Age group compared to those who received the traditional percentage risk scores.

“This would suggest that the mere fact of presenting the patients with information that is easy to understand has a positive effect in engaging them to take preventive action,” said Tauler. (IANS)

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