(HealthDay News) – For individuals >35 years who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), survival is significantly better after an exercise-related OHCA compared with a non-exercise-related OHCA.

Jocelyn Berdowski, PhD, from the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues examined the incidence and survival rates for exercise- versus non-exercise-related OHCAs using data from 2,517 OHCA cases from January 2006–January 2009.

The researchers found that 5.8% of OHCAs (145) were exercise-related, seven of which occurred in patients <35 years, and most patients were men. The incidence of exercise-related OHCA was 2.0 per 100,000 person-years, overall, and 0.2 per 100,000 person-years for those <35 years. Survival was significantly better after exercise-related OHCA compared with non-exercise-related OHCA (44.8 vs. 15.4%; unadjusted odds ratio, 4.13), even after adjustment for other prognostic variables (odds ratio, 1.57). For patients <35 years, there was no difference in survival in exercise- or non-exercise-related OHCA (33.3 vs. 34.5%; P=0.54).

“More research is needed to determine why, after taking into account favorable factors such as age, location of the event, and initiation of CPR, persons who exercise during or shortly before having a cardiac arrest still have a better prognosis than people who have a cardiac arrest that is unrelated to exercise,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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