Seeing a female physician could lead to a longer life, new study shows

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Seeing a female doctor could be better for longevity, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Monday.

Both male and female patients have a greater chance of death or readmission within 30 days under the care of a male physician, but the risk is much greater for women, the findings show.

Researchers drew a sample of 800,000 Medicare patients ages 65 and older admitted to hospitals from 2016 through 2019 to explore the answer.

Despite the seemingly large sample size, researchers made clear that there is still much to learn about “whether the effects of physician sex on patients’ clinical outcomes vary by patient sex,” the study states.

Here’s what was found.

We could be saving up to 5,000 women each year

A senior adult woman listening carefully as a female doctor explains a diagnosis to her.

About 31% of each group of patients observed (male and female) had female providers caring for them, according to the study.

The results showed that 8.15% of women cared for by female doctors died within 30 days compared to the 8.38% who died under the care of male doctors. The researchers say this is a “clinically significant” difference that could save up to 5,000 women’s lives a year if the gap were closed, according to NBC News.

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