Women with heart attacks more likely to die when treated by men

Women with heart attacks more likely to die when treated by men

Women with heart attacks more likely to die when treated by men

Researchers believe that male doctors are more likely to miss danger signs in women who are admitted to casualty.

That's because more and more studies are coming to the same conclusion: Female doctors produce better outcomes than men.

Previous studies have shown that women are more likely than men to die of heart attacks.

Research shows that women are more likely to die if they are treated by a doctor of the opposite sex, but men are at no disadvantage.

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Women who suffer a heart attack have a higher chance of survival if they are treated by a female doctor, according to a United States study.

What's more, female survival improved based on how many female doctors were employed in the hospital's emergency department.

But when female physicians took charge of treatment, those percentages fell - to 11.8% of men and 12% of women. Women suffering heart attacks can differ from men in their symptoms, which male doctors may not as readily recognize.

"You have highly trained experts with life or death on the line, and yet the gender match between the physician and the patient seems to matter a great deal", said Carnahan, one of a handful of new faculty at the Olin Business School. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with a heart condition in their lifetime than women, but diagnosed women are less likely to survive. But a heart attack in women often starts with harder-to-interpret flu-like symptoms along with an aching jaw and spine.

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As well as looking at the patients' age, gender, and whether they had other health problems, the team also looked at whether the patient died during their stay in hospital and whether the emergency room doctor primarily looking after them was a man or a woman. For example, while female doctors have better outcomes when treating both male and female patients, the biggest gains happen when they treat females. In a rousing editorial, Healy lamented that decades of research that focused nearly entirely on men had "reinforced the myth that coronary heart disease is a uniquely male affliction and generated data sets in which men are the normative standard".

"Finally", they write, "interesting opportunities for research exist in an examination of the role played by residents, nurses, and other physicians who may be present or provide information to the supervising physician...future work that considers these supporting figures would advance our understanding of how coordination between [all] healthcare providers might influence the relationship between physician-patient gender concordance and patient survival". Or you have assistance: "A female colleague cues him into what's going on".

Another possible factor could be that female heart attack patients are entering hospitals with gender-specific symptoms that are more readily recognized by female physicians, Greenwood added. "I would hope that in reading this leaders in emergency medicine-whether directors or department chairs-would consider that we are an asset beyond being a diverse workforce".

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