The Atlantic

Women More Likely to Survive Heart Attacks If Treated by Female Doctors

And male doctors do better when they have more female colleagues.
Source: Rubberball / Getty

“Coronary heart disease is also a woman’s disease, not a man’s disease in disguise,” wrote the cardiologist Bernadine Healy back in 1991. In a rousing editorial, Healy lamented that decades of research that focused almost entirely on men had “reinforced the myth that coronary heart disease is a uniquely male affliction and generated data sets in which men are the normative standard.” As a result, women’s symptoms went underappreciated, their medical problems were misdiagnosed, and their lives hung in the balance.

Three decades on, these problems still persist. In the United States, women the years after a heart attack, even after accounting for age. And, according to a new study, that’s partly because of how women are treated—and the gender of the doctors who treat them.

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