Chronic kidney disease may signal higher risk of cardiac arrest in Hispanic adults

By American Heart Association News

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(sorbetto/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images)

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Chronic kidney disease may be a strong risk factor for cardiac arrest in Hispanic adults, a new study has found.

The research, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, also suggested heavy drinking, a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, heart disease and stroke may lead to a higher risk of cardiac arrest among Hispanic and Latino adults.

"The death rate for sudden cardiac arrest is more than 90%, making prediction and prevention of this condition a top priority," Dr. Kyndaron Reinier, the study's lead author, said in a news release. Reinier is associate director for epidemiology in the Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

Early detection and management of chronic kidney disease may reduce the risk of cardiac arrest among Hispanic people, she said.

Researchers compared a group of 295 Hispanic adults who had cardiac arrest between February 2015 and January 2021 to a group of 590 Hispanic adults who had not experienced one. The first group was drawn from the Prediction of Sudden Death in Multi-Ethnic Communities study, or PRESTO, which follows cardiac arrest survivors in Ventura County, California. Participants in the comparison group came from the San Diego site of the Hispanic Community Health Survey/Study of Latinos, an ongoing study of the health of Hispanic people in the U.S.

Of the adults who had a cardiac arrest, 51% had previously been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and 20% had end-stage kidney disease that required dialysis.

The study also examined the odds for each group to have certain medical conditions. The cardiac arrest group had 7.3 times higher odds of having chronic kidney disease than their counterparts in the comparison group. The odds were 4.5 times higher for heavy drinkers; four times higher for those with AFib; three times higher for those with coronary heart disease or a history of stroke; 2.5 times higher in those with heart failure; and 1.5 times higher for those with Type 2 diabetes.

Cardiac arrest, the sudden loss of heart function in someone with or without heart disease, causes an estimated 436,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the American Heart Association.

Researchers said the study may be the first to evaluate predictors of cardiac arrest among Hispanic people. But they said there may be unmeasured differences between the groups that the study could not consider. Also, because the study included adults of mostly Mexican heritage who lived in Southern California, the findings may not apply to all Hispanic people, the researchers said.

"We hope other researchers try to replicate our findings in different populations," Dr. Sumeet S. Chugh, study co-author and director of the Center for Cardiac Arrest Prevention at Smidt, said in the release. "We would like to compare risk predictors for sudden cardiac arrest in all individuals to determine whether ethnicity-specific prevention or treatment measures are needed."

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