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Cardiac arrest survivors: short residual risk of death, long life expectancy
  1. Kristian Kragholm1,2,3⇑,
  2. Christian Torp-Pedersen1,2,3
  1. 1 Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  2. 2 Departments of Cardiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  3. 3 Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristian Kragholm, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Sdr. Skovvej 15, Aalborg 9000, Denmark; kdks{at}rn.dk

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Until a few decades ago, nearly no one survived out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.1 A recently published meta-analysis of 79 outcome studies from around the world reported an overall survival rate of 7.6% that had not changed throughout the past three decades.2 Recent data are more optimistic and several studies have reported survival rates above 10%.3–6 The increasing number of patients surviving to hospital discharge have directed focus towards long-term outcomes of survival and function following cardiac arrest.7 8

In their Heart manuscipt Andrew et al9 focused on very long-term survival among 3449 patients discharged alive after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the years from 2000 to 2014. The setting was Victoria State, Australia, with a population of approximately 5.9 million people and an area of 2 27 000 km2. With a mean follow-up time of 12 years, Andrew and colleagues demonstrated that 8 out of 10 discharge survivors were alive after 5 years, 7 out of 10 after 10 years and 6 out of 10 after 15 years. The study reports a more than fivefold increased risk of death compared with the background population during the first year but similar relative risk at …

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