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Lack of awareness and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) puts African Americans at greater risk of death from the condition, according to a new national survey released today by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). The survey findings uncovered significant perception gaps between healthcare providers and consumers when it comes to understanding the condition, its symptoms, risk factors and treatments. Responsible for more than 350,000 U.S. deaths each year, SCA occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Approximately 95 percent of SCA cases result in death; however, it is proven most deadly in African Americans.

WASHINGTON, DC — New research reveals that black and Hispanic patients who were eligible for cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) were less likely to receive therapy than eligible white patients. The study also found that both minority groups were more likely to meet established criteria and white patients were more likely to receive CRT-D outside of published guidelines. The new study published in the March edition of the HeartRhythm Journal, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, is the first of its kind to examine and compare Hispanic, white and black patients within a national study population.