Sex differences in incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest across ethnic and socioeconomic groups: A population-based cohort study in the Netherlands

Renee Bolijn*, Cenne H.A.M. Sieben, Anton E. Kunst, Marieke Blom, Hanno L. Tan, Irene G.M. van Valkengoed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Insight into the occurrence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) within general populations may help to target prevention strategies. Case registries suggest that there may be substantial differences in emergency medical service (EMS)-attended OHCA incidence between men and women, but relative sex differences across ethnic groups and socioeconomic (SES) groups have not been studied. We investigated sex differences in OHCA incidence, overall and across these subgroups. Methods: We performed a retrospective population-based cohort study, combining individual-level data on ethnicity and income (as SES measure) from Statistics Netherlands of all men and women aged ≥25 years living in one study region in the Netherlands on 01-01-2009 (n = 1,688,285) with prospectively collected EMS-attended OHCA cases (n = 5676) from the ARREST registry until 31-12-2015. We calculated age-standardised incidence rates of OHCA. Sex differences were assessed with Cox proportional hazards regression analyses, adjusted for age, ethnicity and income, in the overall population, and across ethnic and SES groups. Results: The age-standardised incidence rate of OHCA was lower in women than in men (30.9 versus 87.3 per 100,000 person-years), corresponding with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.33 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.31–0.35). These sex differences in hazard for OHCA existed in all income quintiles (HR range: 0.30–0.35) and ethnic groups (HR range: 0.19–0.40), except among Moroccans (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.51–1.57). Conclusion: Women have a substantial, yet lower OHCA incidence rate than men. The magnitude of these sex differences did not vary across social strata.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

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