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

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It could also be, as the team writes, "that the most skillful physicians-i.e., female physicians-provide the highest return to their skills when treating the most challenging patients-i.e., female patients".

The reason has eluded researchers for years, but the authors of the new study point to the disparity in male and female representation in emergency doctors as a potential source of answers.

During the almost two-decade study timeframe, roughly 1.3 million heart attacks occurred among Florida's 20 million residents.

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.

After taking factors such as age, race and medical history into account, they found all patients had a better chance of surviving a heart attack if they were treated by a female doctor, but the difference in outcomes was biggest in women. In other words, the more female doctors a hospital had in their emergency room, the better the outcomes were for female heart attack patients. But treatment by male physicians tripled the gap to 0.7 percent: 12.6 percent of men died compared to 13.3 percent of women.

Medical practitioners should be aware of the possible challenges male providers face when treating female AMI patients-for example, a propensity among women to delay seeking treatment and the presentation of symptoms that differ from those of men.

The new study, conducted by three business school professors at the University of Minnesota, Washington University in St. Louis, and Harvard, started by looking at whether gender concordance between patients and the attending physicians in the emergency department influenced survival.

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Male doctors, you're doing great, but you may want to take some notes from your female colleagues. In this case, 11.8pc of men died compared with 12pc of women.

The researchers divided 500,000-plus cases into four categories: male doctors treating men; male doctors treating women; female doctors treating men; and female doctors treating women.

First, heart disease is often thought of as a "male" condition.

For both men and women, the same advice on preventing heart attacks applies - and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 80 percent of heart disease, especially heart attacks, can be avoided by modifying lifestyle behavior.

Female doctors may also simply be performing at least some parts of the job better than their male counterparts do. While women enter medical school at the same rate as men, they experience higher rates of both burnout and suicide during their time in the field, and men are more likely to advance to higher positions - both largely attributable to gender bias. Or you have assistance: "A female colleague cues him into what's going on".

The findings are reported in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences". "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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