Researchers at Duke University say areas with the most cardiovascular health issues are least likely to have bystanders who can perform CPR.
A study released last week says rural and poor communities have a significantly lower number of people who have CPR training. The report says that rate is particularly low in Southern states.
The study's lead author Monique Anderson says communities that promote a simpler way of conducting CPR are training more people.
"For every minute that CPR is not initiated, survival drops off by 10 percent. Now, we do know that for the ley-public, a better option may be compression-only CPR; get on the chest, call 911, push hard and fast," says Anderson.
"What we're actually teaching people is the alternative is that this person is dead. There's no harm you can cause in getting on the chest, pushing in the center near the sternum at a rate of 100 per minute, compressing at a depth of two inches."
Anderson says the number of those who got CPR training in the last year was just 1 in 500 people in some parts of rural North Carolina. The General Assembly passed a law in 2011 that requires high school students to get CPR training before they graduate, starting with this year's junior class.