Ethnic differences in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest among Middle Eastern Arabs and North African populations living in Qatar

Furqan B. Irfan, Maaret Castren, Zain A. Bhutta, Pooja George, Isma Qureshi, Stephen H. Thomas, Sameer A. Pathan, Guillaume Alinier, Loua A. Shaikh, Jassim A. Suwaidi, Rajvir Singh, Ashfaq Shuaib, Tooba Tariq, William J. McKenna, Peter A. Cameron, Therese Djarv

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Aims: There are very few studies comparing epidemiology and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in different ethnic groups. Previous ethnicity studies have mostly determined OHCA differences between African American and Caucasian populations. The aim of this study was to compare epidemiology, clinical presentation, and outcomes of OHCA between the local Middle Eastern Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Arab and the migrant North African populations living in Qatar.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of Middle Eastern GCC Arabs and migrant North African patients with presumed cardiac origin OHCA resuscitated by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Qatar, between June 2012 and May 2015.

Results: There were 285 Middle Eastern GCC Arabs and 112 North African OHCA patients enrolled during the study period. Compared with the local GCC Arabs, univariate analysis showed that the migrant North African OHCA patients were younger and had higher odds of initial shockable rhythm, pre-hospital interventions (defibrillation and amioderone), pre-hospital scene time, and decreased odds of risk factors (hypertension, respiratory disease, and diabetes) and pre-hospital response time. The survival to hospital discharge had greater odds for North African OHCA patients which did not persist after adjustment. Multivariable logistic regression showed that North Africans were associated with lower odds of diabetes (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.25–0.91, p = 0.03), and higher odds of initial shockable rhythm (OR 2.86, 95% CI 1.30–6.33, p = 0.01) and greater scene time (OR 1.02 95% CI 1.0–1.04, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: North African migrant OHCA patients were younger, had decreased risk factors and favourable OHCA rhythm and received greater ACLS interventions with shorter pre-hospital response times and longer scene times leading to better survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460
Number of pages469
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number3
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021


  • Cardiac arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • epidemiology
  • ethnic
  • Middle East
  • north Africa


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