To investigate diurnal variations in incidence and outcomes following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).
OHCA of presumed cardiac etiology were identified through the nationwide Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry (2001-2010). Time of day was divided into three time periods: daytime 07.00-14.59; evening 15.00-22.59; and nighttime 23.00-06.59.
We identified 18,929 OHCA patients, aged =18 years. The median age was 72 years (IQR 62-80) and the majority were male (67.5%). OHCA occurrence varied across time periods, with 43.9%, 35.7% and 20.6% occurring during daytime, evening and nighttime, respectively. Nighttime patients were more likely to have: severe comorbidity (i.e. COPD), arrest in private home (87.2% vs. 69.0% and 73.0% daytime and evening, respectively), non-witnessed arrest (51.2% vs. 48.4% and 43.7%), no bystander CPR (75.9% vs. 68.4% and 66.1%), longer time interval from recognition of OHCA to rhythm analysis (12 min vs. 11 min and 11 min), and non-shockable heart rhythm (80.1% vs. 70.3% and 69.4%), all p