Rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in the United States

Monique L. Anderson, Margueritte Cox, Sana M. Al-Khatib, Graham Nichol, Kevin L. Thomas, Paul S. Chan, Paramita Saha-Chaudhuri, Emil L. Fosbol, Brian Eigel, Bill Clendenen, Eric D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Prompt bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the likelihood of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Large regional variations in survival after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have been noted. OBJECTIVES To determine whether regional variations in county-level rates of CPR training exist across the United States and the factors associated with low rates in US counties. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS We used a cross-sectional ecologic study design to analyze county-level rates of CPR training in all US counties from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.We used CPR training data from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the Health and Safety Institute. Using multivariable logistic regression models, we examined the association of annual rates of adult CPR training of citizens by these 3 organizations (categorized as tertiles) with a county's geographic, population, and health care characteristics. EXPOSURE Completion of CPR training. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES Rate of CPR training measured as CPR course completion cards distributed and CPR training products sold by the American Heart Association, persons trained in CPR by the American Red Cross, and product sales data from the Health and Safety Institute. RESULTS During the study period, 13.1 million persons in 3143 US counties received CPR training. Rates of county training ranged from 0.00% to less than 1.29% (median, 0.51%) in the lower tertile, 1.29% to 4.07%(median, 2.39%) in the middle tertile, and greater than 4.07%or greater (median, 6.81%) in the upper tertile. Counties with rates of CPR training in the lower tertile were more likely to have a higher proportion of rural areas (adjusted odds ratio, 1.12 [95%CI, 1.10-1.15] per 5-percentage point [PP] change), higher proportions of black (1.09 [1.06-1.13] per 5-PP change) and Hispanic (1.06 [1.02-1.11] per 5-PP change) residents, a lower median household income (1.18 [1.04-1.34] per $10 000 decrease), and a higher median age (1.28 [1.04-1.58] per 10-year change). Counties in the South, Midwest, andWest were more likely to have rates of CPR training in the lower tertile compared with the Northeast (adjusted odds ratios, 7.78 [95%CI, 3.66-16.53], 5.56 [2.63-11.75], and 5.39 [2.48-11.72], respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Annual rates of US CPR training are low and vary widely across communities. Counties located in the South, those with higher proportions of rural areas and of black and Hispanic residents, and those with lower median household incomes have lower rates of CPR training than their counterparts. These data contribute to known geographic disparities in survival of cardiac arrest and offer opportunities for future community interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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