Where you live could determine your risk of dying from a heart attack

We know that what we eat, how much exercise we do and how well we manage any heart condition reduces

We know that what we eat, how much exercise we do and how well we manage any heart condition reduces our risk of suffering a heart attack. But what about the risk involved when cardiac arrest does occur?

The time between your heart stopping and paramedics being by your side is crucial, and a Canadian study has found that the floor on which you live has a direct relationship to your chances of survival following.

Canadian doctors looked at the outcomes of around 8000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and found that people who lived above the 16th floor had “negligible” chances of survival, Medical Observer reports.

People living on the first three floors of an apartment block had the best survival rates (4.2 per cent), while those above slipped down to 2.6 per cent, 0.9 per cent if you were 16 floors up, and nil if you lived on the 25th floor or higher.

The reason for this frightening occurrence is that the time between heart attack and help arriving is affected as paramedics face slow lifts, building access and navigating to the patient.

In order to combat this, the doctors in the study recommend that more people living in apartment blocks be trained in administering CPR to improve resuscitation rates. In Singapore, a national campaign is underway to train more than 5 million people in the CPR and the use of automatic external defibrillators.

Are you trained in CPR, do you think more people should be? Are you alarmed by these findings?




  1. While working I was the workplace OH&S person. It was pointed out to us by ambos that some lifts didn’t give them space to fully recline their stretchers and even when the patient needed to be lying flat they often had to raise the back of the stretcher to get into the lift. Our workplace lifts were too small to extract a patient fully reclined.

  2. We were told when doing our First Aid and CPR training that 7% of people do survive when someone administers CPR. So even at that low rate, it’s worth a go. I hope they were wrong though.

  3. When my husband had his event 10 years ago the Cardiologist told us that the only reason he survived was because we lived within 5k of ambulance station and hospital. Because of this he did not cardiac arrest until he was in the A&E and hooked up to machines. They knew what was happening and why and immediately got me to sign an authority to administer the clot busting drug (which I can’t spell). While getting me to sign this and explaining the dangerous possible side effect of having a stroke he arrested again. After injecting the drug he had a normal ECG. 3 hours later they told me to go home and get some sleep (it was 3am) as if he was going to have a stroke he would have had it by now. He came out of it with less than 1% damage to his heart muscle. He had such a good outcome because of a few things. 1. He was extremely fit. 2. We lived close to Ambulance and Hospital. 3. He did not drink or smoke. 4. Because he was so fit he had the heart of a 21 year old and he was 56. 5. He eat a healthy diet and his cholesterol reading was 3.5. His clot was just one of those things. He had no heart disease. He had all the tests and 10 years later he is fit as a fiddle. He only takes a tablet for cholesterol because the Cardiologist thinks for luck he should take it. He is living a full life. There is life after a major heart attack.

  4. Unfortunately, my father was a statistic, dying of a heart attack, which no doubt could have been prevented had he seen a doctor much earlier, at age 56. He always feared cancer, but we had suspected for some time he had heart problems and he would not go to the doctor.

  5. That is way it is important that we know how to do CPR , you can assist in helping that person with chest compression.

  6. We live in the country as do many Aussies. The ambulance can take 30 to 40 mins or more to get there

  7. all depends how severe it is, how can one answer that question if you had one would you survive it? You can be aware of the signs but who bloody knows.

  8. I’m trained in both CPR and defibrillators, but you have to be at the right time and place to help – and have access to a defibrillator. I live with a trained nurse who is proficient at both too, so, I can only hope that she is with me if I have a heart attack and vice-versa.
    Remember that many heart attacks are initially fatal and no matter of CPR or defib will help.

  9. Rob smith  

    That’s an obvious Canadian article. But in Australia its the same. I work in a very high risk industry and each employee is trained in CPR and resuscitation. It is a known fact that if you are not in close proximity to a defibulator or professional help (with drugs) ….even with trained people. Your chances of living are very slim.

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