Study | Female Heart Attack Patients More Likely to Survive if Treated by Woman Doctor

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

Female heart attack patients have a better chance of survival if they are treated by a doctor of the same gender, according to a study published Monday.

Researchers found that women suffering from heart attacks are more likely to survive if treated by a female doctor compared to a male one, according to the study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America. The study’s results displayed that women heart attack patients were around 1.5 percent less likely to survive if treated by a female doctor compared to a male doctor, The Guardian reported.

Researchers examined records from more than 580,000 patients from Florida’s emergencydepartment admissions for heart attacks between 1991 and 2010. They found that 11.9 percent of the patients died in the hospital from heart attacks during that period. (RELATED: Study Claiming Vaping Causes Heart Attack Risk Has Fatal Flaws)

“We find that gender concordance increases a patient’s probability of surviving a [heart attack] and that the effect is driven by increased mortality when male physicians treat female patients,” said Dr. Brad Greenwood, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota and one of the study’s authors, according to The Guardian.

Researchers also took into account the patients’ age, gender, health problems, whether the patient died in the hospital, and if they were treated by a man or a woman. The probability of death then fell just over 0.6 percentage points when these other factors were taken into consideration.

Greenwood claimed that there are a few different reasons for why women are more likely to survive a heart attack when treated for by a female doctor.

“One could be that female patients are more comfortable advocating for themselves with a female physician,” Greenwood said. “[Or] it could be because women are more likely to present atypically and female physicians are better at picking up cues than their male colleagues.”

The study also found that male heart attack patients have a better chance of survival with a female doctor.

 

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