As well as looking at the patients' age, gender, and whether they had other health problems, the team also looked at whether the patient died during their stay in hospital and whether the emergency room doctor primarily looking after them was a man or a woman.
Additionally, the team found survival rates of female patients treated by male doctors increased when more women doctors were in the emergency department, and when male doctors had treated more female patients.
When men are having a heart attack, their chest pain tends to make it obvious.
And because heart attacks come about suddenly, patients are rarely able to choose their doctor - or his or her gender - when entering an emergency department.
The finding comes from a study of two decades of data on nearly 582,000 heart attack patients admitted to hospitals across the state of Florida between 1991 and 2010.
A study found that 13.3 per cent died after being treated by a man, against 12 per cent of those treated by a woman.
Medical practitioners should be aware of the possible challenges male providers face when treating female AMI patients-for example, a propensity among women to delay seeking treatment and the presentation of symptoms that differ from those of men.
But the gap grew starkly when the doctor was a man - 13.3 per cent of women died and 12.6 per cent of men.
"We find that gender concordance increases a patient's probability of surviving a [heart attack] and that the effect is driven by increased mortality when male physicians treat female patients", said Dr Brad Greenwood, associate professor of information and decision sciences at the University of Minnesota. "Something about the female experience when she's being treated by a male doctor" is linked to these deaths, she says.
"It's important that we better understand what is causing this variation in care". "There have definitely been several studies that have shown that women are slower to be diagnosed, and that might be explained by the fact that women are more likely to have "atypical' symptoms", O'Donoghue notes". In the new study everyone was more likely to survive if they saw a female physician, and a study published a year ago in JAMA Internal Medicine indicated all patients of female physicians had lower mortality and hospital readmission rates.
The authors say their work calls on the importance of having a greater representation of female doctors in the medical field. But a heart attack in women often starts with harder-to-interpret flu-like symptoms along with an aching jaw and spine.
Another variable they cite, omitted in this study, is the previous finding by other researchers that female physicians tend to perform better than male physicians across a wide variety of ailments.
Female heart attack patients treated by male doctors have a worse chance of survival than those treated by female doctors, a study suggests. "[Or] it could be because women are more likely to present atypically and female physicians are better at picking up cues than their male colleagues".
Women suffering heart attacks in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are more likely to die if their doctor is a man than a woman, warned a study Monday.