Women suffering heart attacks in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are more likely to die if their doctor is a man than a woman, warned a study Monday.
The study was based on more than 500,000 patients admitted to hospital emergency departments for acute myocardial infarction — a medical term for heart attack — in Florida between 1991 and 2010.
Researchers at Harvard University found a “stark” difference in survival according to whether the patient’s and doctor’s gender matched.
Namely, when women were treated by female doctors, “there was a significant and positive effect” on survival, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Almost 12 percent of patients die when rushed for emergency treatment for a heart attack.
Matching female doctors to female patients “reduced the probability of death by 5.4 percent, relative to this baseline,” it said.
By another way of looking at the data, “female patients treated by male physicians were 1.52 percent less likely to survive than male patients treated by female physicians.”
Previous studies have shown that women are more likely than men to die of heart attacks.
But why? Some experts have suggested it may be because women’s symptoms are different than men’s, or that they tend to delay treatment more often than men.
This study offers a new explanation for why gender inequality in heart attack mortality persists.
“Most physicians are male, and male physicians appear to have trouble treating female patients,” said the report.
Researchers found that the more women a male doctor treated in his life, the less likely his female patients were to die.
However, this presented a “catch-22” because it suggests a certain number of women must die so that the doctor could learn from his mistakes.
“This decrease may come at the expense of earlier female patients,” said the report.
One problem is that most doctors are male, so matching female doctors to female patients just isn’t possible much of the time.
The solution may be simply to add more female doctors in emergency departments, researchers argued.
“Given the cost of male physicians’ learning on the job, it may be more effective to increase the presence of female physicians.”
Morning Joe drops bomb on Trump about impeachment support in states he desperately needs in 2020
Kicking off Tuesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski busted out the latest polling numbers about support for impeachment in key battleground states and let Donald Trump know he is deeply underwater.
Jumping right into it, the Brzezinski said, "Half of voters in six states that helped carry Trump to victory in 2016 say they support the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into the president. According to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll put that support at 50 percent of voters in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona -- 45 percent say they oppose."
Britain’s Johnson races Brexit clock as deadline looms
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces two crucial Brexit votes Tuesday that could decide if he still has a reasonable shot at securing his EU divorce by next week's deadline.
The UK is entering a cliffhanger finale to a drama that has divided families and embittered politics ever since voters backed a split from Britain's 27 EU allies and trading partners in 2016.
Johnson has set himself a very high bar by promising that he will get Brexit done -- "do or die'" -- by the twice-delayed October 31 departure date.
The Conservative leader now hopes parliament gives initial support to a Brexit bill that translates the revised withdrawal agreement he struck with Brussels last week into UK law.
Philippines’ Duterte cuts short Japan trip in ‘unbearable pain’
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, suffering from "unbearable pain" in his spine after a motorcycle accident, is cutting short a trip to Japan, his spokesman said Tuesday.
The 74-year-old hurt his hip in the crash last week, with his health already the subject of intense speculation following his disclosure earlier this month that he is suffering from an unrelated autoimmune disease.
A statement from the leader's spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte would leave Japan sooner than planned, having attended the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito.
"The palace announces that the president will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone," he said.