Black neighborhoods had a significantly lower rate of bystander automated external defibrillator (AED) use relative to non-Hispanic/Latino white communities, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods also had lower rates of AED use, according to the study, which was published in a recent edition of Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA).

First author Ryan Huebinger, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, and his team conducted the research by analyzing data from more than 18,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The research earned Huebinger an AHA’s Young Investigator Award.

The researchers wrote that the findings identified an important opportunity to improve training and access to information about AEDs to better serve minority and underrepresented neighborhoods in Texas. “Through these efforts we can hopefully close the gap and save lives,” Huebinger said.

Senior author on the paper was Bentley Bobrow, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at McGovern Medical School. Other UTHealth co-authors in the department were Lesley Osborn, MD, assistant professor and medical director of Memorial Hermann Life Flight; Henry Wang, MD, professor and executive vice chair of research; Micah Panczyk, MS, director of implementation science; and Normandy Villa, MPH, translational science and quality improvement specialist.