Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest third leading cause of DALY

Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest third leading cause of DALY

Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) following adult nontraumatic Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) treated by Emergency Medical in the United States of America has been shown to be the third leading cause of DALY lost in the year 2016 [1]. DALY is a standardized public health measure for estimating and comparing the burden of disease to the society at large.

Coute RA and associates used the data from US national Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival database for 2016. Years of life lost was calculated from this data and the remaining life expectancy at the age of death. Cerebral performance category scores from the registry was used to estimate the years lived with disability in survivors of OHCA. The data was extrapolated to estimate the total US DALY.

Study inclusion criteria was met by 59 752 OHCA and the DALY was 1 194 993, of which years of life lost was 1 194 069 and years lived with disability was 924, in 2016. The extrapolated values for the United States was 4 354  192 of which 4 350  825 was years of life lost and 3365 years lived with disability. This was equivalent to OHCA DALY of 1347 per 100 000 population. This ranked third compared to 2447 for ischemic heart disease and 1565 for low back and neck pain. Incidentally, sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United States [2].

It may be noted that the database used for the study covers only about one fourth of the US population. Another limitation is that some of the cardiac arrests could be due to ischemic heart disease, which is the leading cause of DALY in the United States.


  1. Coute RA, Nathanson BH, Panchal AR, Kurz MC, Haas NL, McNally B, Neumar RW, Mader TJ. Disability-Adjusted Life Years Following Adult Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the United States. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2019 Mar;12(3):e004677.
  2. Taniguchi D, Baernstein A, Nichol G. Cardiac arrest: a public health perspective.Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2012; 30:1–12.