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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Socioeconomic Risk Factors for Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Statewide Analysis.



Economic hardship is a major threat to children’s health, implying that pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (pOHCA) might be promoted by lower incomes and child poverty. To target resources, it is helpful to identify geographical hotspots. Rhode Island is area-wise the smallest state in the United States of America. It has one million inhabitants and is comparable to many larger cities worldwide. We aimed to investigate possible associations of pOHCA with economic factors and the COVID-19 pandemic. We tried to identify high-risk areas and evaluated whether the COVID-19 pandemic had an influence on delays in prehospital care.


We analyzed all pOHCA cases (patients under 18 years of age) in Rhode Island between March 1st, 2018, and February 28th, 2022. We performed Poisson regression with pOHCA as dependent and economic risk factors (median household income and child poverty rate from the United States Census Bureau) as well as the COVID-19 pandemic as independent variables. Hotspots were identified utilizing Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) statistics in ArcGIS Pro (Esri Corp., Redlands). We used linear regression to assess the association of EMS related times with economic risk factors and COVID-19.


Fifty-one cases met our inclusion criteria. Lower median household incomes (incidence-rate ratio (IRR) 0.99 per 1,000$ MHI; p=0.01) and higher child poverty rates (IRR 1.02 per percent; p=0.02) were significantly associated with higher numbers of ambulance calls due to pOHCA. The pandemic did not have a significant influence (IRR 0.9; p=0.7). LISA identified 12 census tracts as hotspots (p<0.01). The pandemic was not associated with delays in prehospital care.

ConclusionLower median household income and higher child poverty rate are associated with higher numbers of pOHCA.

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