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Patient gender bias on the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
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  • Published on:
    The Yentl syndrome effect on Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
    • Demosthenes Bouros, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

    “The Yentl Syndrome” coined in 1991 by Bernadine Healy is the different course of action that the treating physicians usually follow for women than for men (1,2). The name is taken from the 1983 film Yentl starring Barbra Streisand in which her character plays the role of a male in order to attend school and study the Talmud. Being "just like a man" has historically been a price women have had to pay for equality. Throughout the centuries women, considered different and second-class from men, have too often been treated less than equally in various aspects of life, including education and health care (2). Bernadine Healy (1) pointed out in an editorial for the two studies (3,4) published in the same journal demonstrating that women who are hospitalized for coronary heart disease undergo fewer major diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than men as physicians pursue a less aggressive management approach in women than in men, despite greater cardiac disability in women.
    Later, two studies (5,6) demonstrate under-treatment of women with medication, including lower rates of aspirin and ACE inhibitor use in stable women compared with men, as well lower rates of ACE inhibitor, beta-blocker and statin medication in acute coronary syndrome women compared with men. Both studies also show gender differences in use of procedures, where stable women undergo more repeat angiography, whereas acute coronary syndrome women undergo fewer angiograms, percutaneous coronary in...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.