Close  

Women more likely to die of heart attack if doctor is male – study

/ 07:14 AM August 07, 2018

A person practices CPR compressions on a mannequin at San Francisco City Hall on June 1, 2011, in San Francisco, California. A study is warning that women suffering heart attacks in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are more likely to die if their doctor is a man than a woman. AFP

TAMPA, United States – Women suffering heart attacks in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are more likely to die if their doctor is a man than a woman, warned a study Monday.

The study was based on more than 500,000 patients admitted to hospital emergency departments for acute myocardial infarction — a medical term for heart attack — in Florida between 1991 and 2010.

ADVERTISEMENT

Researchers at Harvard University found a “stark” difference in survival according to whether the patient’s and doctor’s gender matched.

Namely, when women were treated by female doctors, “there was a significant and positive effect” on survival, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

FEATURED STORIES

Almost 12 percent of patients die when rushed for emergency treatment for a heart attack.

Matching female doctors to female patients “reduced the probability of death by 5.4 percent, relative to this baseline,” it said.

By another way of looking at the data, “female patients treated by male physicians were 1.52 percent less likely to survive than male patients treated by female physicians.”

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

But why? Some experts have suggested it may be because women’s symptoms are different than men’s, or that they tend to delay treatment more often than men.

This study offers a new explanation for why gender inequality in heart attack mortality persists.

“Most physicians are male, and male physicians appear to have trouble treating female patients,” said the report.

ADVERTISEMENT

Researchers found that the more women a male doctor treated in his life, the less likely his female patients were to die.

However, this presented a “catch-22” because it suggests a certain number of women must die so that the doctor could learn from his mistakes.

“This decrease may come at the expense of earlier female patients,” said the report.

One problem is that most doctors are male, so matching female doctors to female patients just isn’t possible much of the time.

The solution may be simply to add more female doctors in emergency departments, researchers argued.

“Given the cost of male physicians’ learning on the job, it may be more effective to increase the presence of female physicians.” /cbb

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Health, heart attack, male doctor, Women
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

CebGo flights canceled due to bad weather

December 16, 2018 05:32 PM

lifestyle

Green thumb spruces up Bangladesh one tree at a time

December 16, 2018 05:31 PM

lifestyle

Interns with Down syndrome get trained in Davao hotel

December 16, 2018 05:23 PM




© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.