Why women are less likely to receive CPR

Women who have heart attacks outside of hospitals are less likely to receive help from a stranger, and are less likely to survive, than men.

Research carried out by the University of Amsterdam analysed statistics from 5700 resuscitation attempts carried out between 2006 and 2012 in an area of The Netherlands.

They discovered that 68 percent of women who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital received help from a bystander, compared to 73 percent of men.

On top of that, only 12.5 percent of those women survived to be discharged from hospital, compared to 20 percent for men.

Lead researcher Dr Hanno Tan told New Scientist there seems to be a lack of association between women and heart attacks.

"People may be less aware that cardiac arrest can occur as often in women as in men, and the women themselves may not recognise the urgency of their symptoms," said Tan.

"Women may have symptoms of an impending heart attack that are less easy to interpret, such as fatigue, fainting, vomiting and neck or jaw pain, whereas men are more likely to report typical complaints such as chest pain."

This study is not the first of its kind with another carried out in the United States in 2017 finding that only 39 percent of women received treatment from bystanders as opposed to 45 percent of men.

In November 2018 the American Heart Association published findings that said women were less likely to be treated because bystanders were concerned about inappropriate contact, accusations of sexual assault and fear of causing injury.

"The consequences of all of these major themes is that women will potentially receive no CPR or delays in initiation of CPR," lead researcher Dr Sarah Perman said. "While these are actual fears the public holds, it is important to realise that CPR is lifesaving and should be rendered to collapsed individuals regardless of gender, race or ethnicity."