(HealthDay News) – Sudden cardiac arrest occurs at higher rates in alternative indoor exercise facilities compared to traditional indoor exercise sites, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Richard L. Page, MD, from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues examined every public indoor sudden cardiac arrest in Seattle and King County from 1996–2008. Each event was categorized as occurring at a traditional exercise center, an alternative exercise site, or a public indoor location not used for exercise. Further classification of arrests was made by site, activity performed, demographics, and characteristics of treatment and survival.

The researchers found that, of the 849 arrests, 52 occurred at traditional exercise centers, 84 at alternative exercise sites, and 713 at sites not associated with exercise. Incident rates of arrests at indoor tennis facilities, indoor ice arenas, and bowling alleys were higher than at traditional fitness centers. Survival to hospital discharge was significantly greater at exercise sites (56% at traditional versus 45% at alternative) compared to other public indoor locations (34%).

“These data have important implications for automated external defibrillator placement,” the authors write.

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