Home Health Women die more when operated on by men, study finds

Women die more when operated on by men, study finds


This is a rather worrying finding. Could the sex of the surgeon have an impact on the outcome of a surgical procedure? In any case, this is suggested by a study involving 1.3 million patients and relayed by The Guardian (source 1). According to the researchers, a woman is 32% more likely to die after an operation performed by a male surgeon. They are also more likely to have complications or be admitted to hospital again.

Women are also 15% more likely to have a bad outcome than if the same procedure were performed by a woman. The analysis was conducted in Canada between 2007 and 2019. “In our sample of 1.3 million patients involving nearly 3,000 surgeons, we found that patients treated by male surgeons were 15% more likely to have poor outcomes than patients treated by female surgeons,” said Dr. Angela Jerath, associate professor and clinical epidemiologist at the University of Toronto in Canada. and co-author of the results.

Before completing: “This result has real medical consequences for patients and manifests itself in more complications, hospital readmissions and deaths for women compared to men”.

Worrying results

These results were published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery. “This is concerning because there should be no gender difference in patient outcomes, regardless of the gender of the surgeon,” Dr. Jerath said. To reach these conclusions, the files analyzed were those of patients who had undergone 21 surgical procedures (removal of the appendix, bariatric surgery, heart bypass, aneurysm, etc.) performed by 2,937 surgeons. The researchers said the study was the first of its kind to examine the association between a patient’s gender, their surgeon’s gender, and surgery outcomes. They looked at three types of adverse postoperative outcomes: death, hospital readmission, and complications within 30 days.

“When a surgeon operates, patient outcomes are generally better, especially for women, even after adjusting for differences in chronic health status, age, and other factors, when undergoing the same procedures,” the study notes.

For the authors of this study, differences in communication and interaction between healthcare professionals and patients may explain these results. The study also mentions “differences between the work style, decision-making and judgment of male and female physicians”. More detailed research is needed to examine communication, trust, and doctor-patient relationships.

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