Globally, GDP Per Capita Correlates Strongly with Rates of Bystander CPR

Aditya Shekhar, Jagat Narula

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Bystander CPR is vital in improving outcomes for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. There has been ample literature describing disparities in bystander CPR within specific countries, such as the United States, Australia, and the Netherlands. However, there has not been significant literature describing such disparities between countries. Methods: We examined various studies published between 2000 and 2021 that reported rates of bystander CPR in various countries. These bystander CPR rates were correlated with the GDP per capita of that country during the time the study was conducted. The correlation between GDP per capita and rates of bystander CPR was assessed. Results: A total of 29 studies in 35 communities across 25 countries were examined. Reported rates of bystander CPR ranged from 1.3% to 72%. From this, a strong and significant correlation between GDP per capita and rates of bystander CPR was apparent; 0.772 (p <.01), r2 = 0.596. Conclusions: GDP per capita can be thought of as a composite endpoint that takes into account various aspects of a country’s social and economic well-being. Socioeconomically-advantaged communities likely have a better ability to provide CPR education to community members, and our findings mirror localized analyses comparing socioeconomic status and rates of bystander CPR. Future studies should continue to elucidate transnational disparities in cardiac arrest, and efforts should be directed at providing CPR education to communities with low rates of bystander CPR; low-and-middle-income countries may represent attractive targets for such interventions. However, it may be possible that rates of bystander CPR may not improve unless significant upstream improvements to socioeconomic factors take place.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalAnnals of Global Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Cardiac arrest
  • bystander CPR
  • development
  • disparities
  • global health


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