Female heart attack patients likely to survive if treated by women doctors

Women more likely to survive heart attack if treated by female doctor – study

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

Women are more likely to survive a heart attack if they are treated by a female doctor in hospital, a major study has shown.

Female heart attack patients treated by male doctors have a worse chance of survival than those treated by female doctors, a study suggests.

Intriguingly, women treated by a male doctor were more likely to survive if there were many female physicians in the ER. Given the cost of male physicians' learning on the job, it may be more effective to increase the presence of female physicians within the emergency department.

One possible reason for this is that female physicians tend to share more information with patients and to focus more on partnership and patient participation while Male physicians tend to stick to "the facts", emphasizing the patient history and physical exam.

"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. In the new study everyone was more likely to survive if they saw a female physician, and a study published past year in JAMA Internal Medicine indicated all patients of female physicians had lower mortality and hospital readmission rates.

That means if 1,000 women went to the emergency room with a heart attack, 15 more would die if they were treated by a male doctor, study leaded Brad Greenwood of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities told Reuters Health.

However, the team found that when patients shared the same gender as their doctor, they were more likely to survive, with the probability of death falling by just over 0.6 percentage points once factors including the patients' age, other health problems, the physician, and hospital-specific differences were taken into account. "Still, she adds, the study raises many troubling questions about the treatment of women in the ER, "like the concern there's a systematic bias where male physicians are not listening to female patients" complaints as readily as [those of] a man".

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. Heart attacks look different in women than in men: Rather than the classic gripping chest pains, they can also be presaged by indigestion, or discomfort in the arms, neck, jaw, stomach, and back.

It can not prove it was the presence of female doctors that caused the improved survival rates. In this case, 11.8pc of men died compared with 12pc of women.

"It's important that we better understand what is causing this variation in care". "Female physicians may communicate better, with less medical jargon".

If you're having a heart attack and you're a woman, hope a female doctor greets you in the emergency room.

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