14 Dec 2018

Māori still more likely to die of cardiac arrest - report

7:14 pm on 14 December 2018

A St John's report into cardiac arrest outside of hospitals shows Māori continue to have the highest rates of cardiac arrest and the lowest survival rates.

St John Ambulance generic

Photo: St John

The Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Registry Report for 2017/18 shows Māori have a rate of incidence of 135.5 per 100,000 people.

This compares to European rates of 96.4 per 100,000 people and 104.5 for Pacific people.

Māori have a 24 percent chance of surviving cardiac arrest outside of hospital compared to 31 percent for people of European descent.

In the last year St John New Zealand has treated more than 2000 people for cardiac arrest outside of hospital.

St John medical director Dr Tony Smith said five New Zealanders a day suffer from cardiac arrest.

"What our report has shown year on year, and it's shown again this year, is that Māori are 1.4 times more likely to have a cardiac arrest than Europeans.

"And if they do have a cardiac arrest they're 1.6 times more likely to die."

Dr Smith said social-economic factors are key factors in high cardiac arrest rates for Māori.

"There's good evidence that the poorer you are the worse your health outcomes are.

"And also other disease called co-morbidity that the patient may have for example smoking and diabetes."

Cardiac arrest was often referred to as the silent death toll, Dr Smith said.

"We have more people die every year from cardiac arrest than die on our roads - yet cardiac arrest doesn't receive the same degree of publicity."