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.”
‘No comment’: Emails show the VA took no action to spare veterans from a harsh Trump immigration policy
The VA’s approach differs sharply from the Pentagon’s, which won an exemption for active-duty members of the military.
Top officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs declined to step in to try to exempt veterans and their families from a new immigration rule that would make it far easier to deny green cards to low-income immigrants, according to documents obtained by ProPublica under a Freedom of Information Act request.
Pilgrims gather for cosmic-like ritual in Bulgaria’s mountains
Thousands of pilgrims gathered Monday in Bulgaria's Rila mountains to welcome their "spiritual" new year with a cosmic-like dance performed in concentric circles, creating a striking image on the verdant mountain plain.
The white-clad dancers hiked up to Bulgaria's Seven Rila Lakes at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,900 feet) and performed a special meditative dance known as "paneurhythmy" for more than an hour under the sound of singing and violins.
They are followers of the Universal White Brotherhood -- an esoteric society that combines Christianity and Indian mysticism and was founded by Bulgarian theologian Peter Deunov back in 1897 but banned during communism and still considered a sect by the country's Christian Orthodox Church.
NBA star Stephen Curry finances college golf team for six years
Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors said Monday he will support the creation of Howard University's first top-level golf program for the next six years.
Curry, a six-time NBA All-Star guard and avid golfer, was inspired to make the contribution by Otis Ferguson IV, a senior at the Washington DC university who Curry met during a campus visit earlier this year.
Ferguson had been campaigning to establish a golf team at Howard. He found a backer in Curry, who decided establish men's and women's golf at the historically black college.
Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Curry also persuaded golf equipment manufacturer Callaway to promise equipment and sport apparel giant Under Armour, who are one of his sponsors, to provide uniforms.