Calm down dear, it’s only an aneurysm’ – why doctors need to take women’s pain seriously

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Female heart-attack victims are half as likely as men to receive treatment. Is ‘hysteria’ still being used to deny women adequate medical care?

Though arising from the #MeToo movement, the phrase “believe women” is applicable anywhere. Believe women when we say the office is too cold, when we say we’re being paid less and especially when we say we’re in pain.

Scepticism toward the latter is costing lives: according to a study led by the University of Edinburgh and funded by the British Heart Foundation, women who had gone to A&E after experiencing chest pain (and were later found to be suffering from a heart attack) were half as likely as men to receive the recommended medical treatment. The research comes after it was revealed that entering identical heart symptoms for women and men on Babylon, a virtual GP app praised by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, resulted in different diagnoses. Its artificial intelligence tells a 60-year-old female smoker who reports chest pain and nausea that she is simply having a panic attack. A 60-year-old male smoker with exactly the same symptoms is told that he might be having a heart attack and is advised to go to A&E. Here’s hoping that the researchers from the University of Edinburgh are predominantly male, so that their research is taken more seriously than the anguished cries of women that have rung out since the beginning of time.

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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