Disability-Adjusted Life Years Due to Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the United States: A CARES Surveillance Group Study

Author Department

Emergency Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Background: Disability-adjusted life years (DALY) are a common public health metric used to estimate disease burden. The DALY due to pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in the United States is unknown. We aimed to estimate pediatric OHCA DALY and to compare it with the other leading causes of pediatric death and disability in the United States.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational analysis of the national Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival database. DALY were calculated as the sum of years of life lost and years lived with disability. Years of life lost were calculated using all pediatric (age <18 years) nontraumatic OHCA from the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival from 2016 to 2020. Disability weights based on cerebral performance category scores, an outcome measure of neurologic function, were used to estimate years lived with disability . Data were reported as total, mean, and rate per 100 000 individuals, and were compared with the leading causes of pediatric DALY in the United States published by the Global Burden of Disease study for 2019.

Results: Totally 11 177 OHCA met the study inclusion criteria. A modest increase in total OHCA DALY in the United States was observed from 407 500 (years of life lost = 407 435 and years lived with disability =65) in 2016 to 415 113 (years of life lost = 415 055 and years lived with disability =58) in 2020. The DALY rate increased from 553.3 per 100 000 individuals in 2016 to 568.3 per 100 000 individuals in 2020. For 2019, OHCA was the 10th leading cause of pediatric DALY lost behind neonatal disorders, injuries, mental disorders, premature birth, musculoskeletal disorders, congenital birth defects, skin diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and asthma.

Conclusions: Nontraumatic OHCA is one of the top 10 leading causes of annual pediatric DALY lost in the United States.

Keywords: disability-adjusted life years; global burden of disease; out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; pediatrics.