DALLAS, June 4, 2024 — According to the American Heart Association, when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical and can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States each year. Of those, 90% will not survive, according to the Association, which is working to turn more bystanders into lifesavers who can use CPR in an emergency. The American Heart Association, celebrating one hundred years of lifesaving service as a global force for longer, healthier lives for all, is promoting CPR awareness and education during the unique intersection of Pride Month with National CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week, June 1 – 7.

“The American Heart Association Nation of Lifesavers initiative aims to turn bystanders into lifesavers so that in a cardiac emergency, anyone, anywhere, is prepared and empowered to become a vital link in the chain of survival and provide CPR,” said Comilla Sasson, M.D., vice president of emergency cardiovascular care for the American Heart Association. “If you have to perform CPR, it’s more than likely that you will be helping to save the life of someone you love. It’s important to be ready if you need to act before professional help arrives.”

Science tells us that heart disease and stroke do not discriminate. But there is still evidence that at least 20 million LGBTQ adults[1] in the U.S. experience worse cardiovascular health than cisgender, heterosexual adults.[2]  In spite of progress being made in CPR awareness and training, consumer research from the American Heart Association indicates that 57% of the general population is still hesitant to perform CPR because they are worried that they may hurt the person in need. Therefore, it is important that everyone, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, learns the proper way to perform CPR.

“CPR saves lives. The Association is encouraging LGBTQ+ communities and allies to learn CPR so that they will know what to do and be ready to act in an emergency. Find a CPR course near you and prepare to be a hero,” said Sasson.

During Pride Month and year-round, the American Heart Association stands with the LGBTQ+ community by funding innovative research, advocating for public health and sharing lifesaving resources like CPR education and training. Visit the Pride with Heart website for LGBTQ+ health equity news and well-being resources. 

Additional resources supporting LGBTQ+ health awareness: 


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.    

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Jennifer Braxton: Jennifer.Braxton@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org

[1] https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/We-Are-Here-120821.pdf; https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey.html

[2] Caceres et al. Assessing and Addressing Cardiovascular Health in LGBTQ Adults. Circulation. 2020;142:e321–e332.