Heart disease is an equal opportunity killer. It's the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women. But a new study of more than half a million cases of heart attack victims rushed to Florida emergency rooms between 1991 and 2010 suggests a person's sex plays a surprising role in whether they are likely to survive a heart attack.
Researchers divided the cases into four categories: male doctors treating men; male doctors treating women; female doctors treating men and female doctors treating women. Only one category was statistically distinguishable: men treating women, where the risk of the female patient dying rises roughly 12 percent.
The why remains unknown, but the study poses troubling questions about the treatment and health outcomes of women in emergency rooms.
But don't count on finding a female emergency room doctor: Women make up just 25 percent of emergency doctors in the U.S.
Scott La Fee