Cardiac arrest happens when a person’s heart suddenly stops beating. This is caused by health factors such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as bad habits such as smoking and drinking. But it isn’t only what a person does to his body that may result in this fatal heart condition; according to a study posted on, his area of residence may also add to the risk.

Led by PhD candidate Katherine Allan, the study collected data from 20 different neighborhoods in Canada’s Greater Toronto Area to find out which area had the highest percentage of cardiac arrest incidents. Factors such as demographics and socio-economic status were included.

The results showed that cardiac arrests were most prevalent in areas populated by older adults, some of whom have histories of hypertension and diabetes. Although it may seem obvious, it’s not only old age that raises the risk; it’s the environment as well. A poorly planned and “un-walkable” neighborhood may prove to be a health hazard, as most of its residents may opt to ride cars or just do their transactions from home instead of taking a stroll and getting their much needed daily exercise.

These neighborhoods have been found to have three to five times increase in rates of cardiac arrest cases as compared to other communities.

The Philippines, admittedly, has many poorly planned urban and rural neighborhoods. Living in one should make you more vigilant about getting proper exercise. If your community’s sidewalks are close to non-existent and you’re looking for a place to jog, try going to your local park where you can put in a few laps. During early mornings, you can also try running the perimeter of the nearest shopping mall or even your office. Overcoming the odds is possible as long as you have the drive and the discipline to do so.

(Photo by Stefan Munder via Flickr Creative Commons)

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