Association of measures of socioeconomic position with survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a systematic review

Rosemary C. Chamberlain, Calum Barnetson, Gareth R. Clegg, Nynke Halbesma

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Survival following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is low, and poor survival appears associated with low socioeconomic position (SEP). We aimed to synthesise the evidence regarding association of specific SEP measures with OHCA survival, as well as effect modification and potential mediators, with the goal of informing efforts to improve survival by highlighting characteristics of populations requiring additional resources, and identifying modifiable factors.
MEDLINE and Embase databases were searched on 23 May 2019. Quantitative primary studies considering the association of any SEP measure with any OHCA survival measure were eligible. SEP could be measured at the level of the patient, their residential area, or OHCA location. Data on study characteristics and outcomes were extracted and a narrative review performed; this considered the evidence for overall SEP-survival association, variation in association of different SEP measures with survival, effect modification, and mediation.
Twenty-three studies were included. These were highly heterogeneous, particularly regarding SEP measures and eligibility criteria. Several studies report a SEP-survival association, with this being almost exclusively in the direction of lower survival with lower SEP. There is some indication that the education-survival association is particularly consistent but further work is needed to increase confidence here. No evidence of effect modification by age, sex or other factors was seen, although few studies considered this. No mediators were conclusively identified.
Low SEP is associated with poorer OHCA survival in at least some settings. It may be appropriate to consider populations’ socioeconomic characteristics when targeting interventions to improve OHCA survival.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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