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Women who have a heart attack receive less treatment than men

After having a heart attack women are half as likely as men to receive proper treatment, and are twice as likely to die within six months, according to a new study.

Dr Clara Chow, Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and cardiologist at Westmead Hospital, told Ross and John that inaccurate perceptions are to blame for the difference in treatment between men and women, with both healthcare professionals and patients viewing heart disease in women as less severe than it is.

“If you ask a female patient, they don’t think they’re going to die of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, but women don’t think they’ll die from it,” Dr Chow said.

Researchers tried to explain the differences in heart attack treatment and mortality rates between men and women, but differences in age and the type of heart attack experienced were unable to account for the divide.

“We couldn’t explain it away with differences in age, or differences in risk factors… it was quite clear that women are less likely to get treatment and more likely to die,” said Dr Chow.

“There should be no reason why they’re treated differently. Perceptions are a strong thing.”

Press PLAY below to hear Ross and John’s full interview with Dr Clara Chow.