When someone collapses in front of witnesses, the chances of receiving potentially lifesaving CPR may partly depend on the color of their skin, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that when Black and Hispanic Americans suffer cardiac arrest, they are up to 37% less likely than White adults to receive bystander CPR in public places and at home.

The reasons for the disparity are not certain, but there are potential explanations, said senior researcher Dr. Paul Chan, of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo.

CPR trainings, he said, are less available in Black and Hispanic communities, and there are other barriers like cost, which may help account for the disparities in responses to at-home cardiac arrests.

But going into the study, the researchers expected that disparities would be lessened when cardiac arrests happened in public. With more people around, the chances that a bystander would be trained in CPR are greater.

Instead, the disparities were greater: Among cardiac arrests that happened at home, Black and Hispanic individuals were 26% less likely than white people to receive CPR. In public settings, that gap grew to 37%.

Read the full U.S. News & World Report article: Black Americans Less Likely to Receive Lifesaving CPR: Study

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