Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Regional health expenditure and health outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Japan: an observational study



Japan is considering policies to set the target health expenditure level for each region, a policy approach that has been considered in many other countries. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between regional health expenditure and health outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), which incorporates the qualities of prehospital, in-hospital and posthospital care systems.


We examined the association between prefecture-level per capita health expenditure and patients' health outcomes after OHCA.


We used a nationwide, population-based registry system of OHCAs that captured all cases with OHCA resuscitated by emergency responders in Japan from 2005 to 2011.


All patients with OHCA aged 1-100 years were analysed.

Outcome measures

The patients' 1-month survival rate, and favourable neurological outcome (defined as cerebral performance category 1-2) at 1-month.


Among 618,154 cases with OHCA, the risk-adjusted 1-month survival rate varied from 3.3% (95% CI 2.9% to 3.7%) to 8.4% (95% CI 7.7% to 9.1%) across prefectures. The risk-adjusted probabilities of favourable neurological outcome ranged from 1.6% (95% CI 1.4% to 1.9%) to 3.7% (95% CI 3.4% to 3.9%). Compared with prefectures with lowest tertile health expenditure, 1-month survival rate was significantly higher in medium-spending (adjusted OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.66, p=0.03) and high-spending prefectures (adjusted OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.64, p=0.02), after adjusting for patient characteristics. There was no difference in the survival between medium-spending and high-spending regions. We observed similar patterns for favourable neurological outcome. Additional adjustment for regional per capita income did not affect our overall findings.


We observed a wide variation in the health outcomes after OHCA across regions. Low-spending regions had significantly worse health outcomes compared with medium-spending or high-spending regions, but no difference was observed between medium-spending and high-spending regions. Our findings suggest that focusing on the median spending may be the optimum that allows for saving money without compromising patient outcomes.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View