Women most likely have lower chances of surviving a heart attack when a male doctor is treating her than compared to their female counterparts, according to a new study.
While the most common symptoms of heart attacks in both the genders is chest pain or discomfort, sometimes both can experience different symptoms before experiencing a heart attack which the female doctors are able to identify faster, said Seth Carnahan of Washington University and one of the authors of the study.
Carnahan, along with his team of researchers from the Minnesota Twin Cities University and Harvard University, examined over 500,000 heart attack cases occurred in Florida over the span of 19 years and discovered that the women had a higher chance of survival from a heart attack when a female doctor attended her in the emergency room while they are 12% more likely to die when treated by a male doctor, said Carnahan.
As the study is observational, it does not provide any strong answer to why male doctors flag behind. However, the authors think that men might not be good at communicating with female patients that might have led them to misunderstand how severe is the heart attack. Moreover, females are somewhat more likely to experience a different kind of common symptoms of heart attack than men, as per the American Heart Association. Therefore, the male doctors might assume the heart attack symptoms experienced by female patients is similar to that of male patients. And given the fact that patients attended by female doctors showed high chances of survival than the male doctors, it is quite possible that the male doctors are not simply as skilled.
Notably, one out of 4 female deaths can be linked to heart attack, which is a leading cause of death for women in the United States, as per the CDC.