Women who have a heart attack are more likely to survive if they are treated by a female doctor in hospital, a major U.S. study suggests.
MONDAY, Aug. 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Women are significantly more likely to survive a heart attack if their emergency physician is a woman, new research reveals.
One problem is that most doctors are male, so matching female doctors to female patients just isn't possible much of the time.
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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.
What's more, female survival improved based on how many female doctors were employed in the hospital's emergency department.
"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. And, according to a new study, that's partly because of how women are treated-and the gender of the doctors who treat them. It's not exactly clear what women are doing that's producing better outcomes than men.
Further analysis showed that men and women had similar chances of survival when they saw female doctors. Heart attacks are currently the leading cause of death among both American men and women across the economic spectrum, and now account for about a quarter of all fatalities in the United States, the researchers noted. Reuters frames it this way: If 1,000 women went to the ER with a heart attack, 15 more would die if treated by a man. Survival rates also increased if there were many female physicians in the ER, suggesting that female doctors assist their male colleagues in diagnosis, per the Guardian.
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After reviewing about half a million patients in the Florida Hospital database from 1990 to 2011, the researchers found that women treated in emergency departments were 5.4 percent more likely to survive heart attacks - or acute myocardial infarction - if the treating physician was also a woman.
The comparative lack of research means that "male physicians might not pick up on the atypical presentation symptoms womenmore often show, or at least not to the degree that female physicians do", the study's lead author, Brad Greenwood, told CNN.
It can not prove it was the presence of female doctors that caused the improved survival rates. So if a doctor is affected by that notion, he might not take complaints from female patients as seriously-especially since heart attack symptoms in women can be different from those in men.
"What is convincing", Jha adds, "is that we have to do better in terms of caring for women with cardiovascular disease-all of us". Maybe they're directly teaching their male colleagues how to diagnose or treat women with heart attacks.
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