TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women are less likely than
men to receive lifesaving surgical interventions if they have a
heart attack, according to a new study that finds large disparities
in the treatment and outcomes of female and male patients in U.S.
HealthGrades researchers analyzed more than five million
Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009, and focused on 16 of
the most common procedures and diagnoses among women. HealthGrades
is an independent source of hospital quality ratings.
The most significant gender differences were in the area of
cardiovascular care. Only 33.5 percent of female heart attack
patients received lifesaving surgical interventions, compared with
45.6 percent of male patients. Women who did have heart surgery or
angioplasty had a 30 percent higher death rate than men, the
When women treated at lower-rated hospitals were compared with
women treated at hospitals awarded the HealthGrades Women's Health
Excellence Award, female patients at the top-rated facilities had a
40 percent lower risk of death for nine cardiac, pulmonary and
vascular-based diagnoses and procedures, and a 16 percent lower
risk of complications for five orthopedic procedures.
During the study period, an additional 41,025 women over age 65
might have survived their hospitalization and 8,558 might have
avoided major complications if all hospitals had performed at the
level of the top-rated hospitals.
The study also found that women account for a higher percentage
of hospital admissions for hip fracture than men -- 74 percent vs.
26 percent. This remained unchanged from 2005 to 2009.
"Much work remains to be done to better understand the differences between men's and women's health. But many providers are successfully implementing systems of care to more accurately diagnose and treat disease in women," report co-author Dr. Rick May, vice president of clinical quality services, said in a HealthGrades news release.
National Women's Health Week in the United States is May 8 to
WomensHealth.gov has more about
Women's Health Week.