According to, the latest study report, conducted on 6.9 million Danish nationals, the chances of diagnosis of a disease in women takes at least four more years than the diagnosis of the same disease in men. For a large number of conditions, the diagnosis comes late in life for a woman. The researchers, however, don’t know the cause of later diagnosis of women, according to them it can be based on a number of factors such as genetics, environment or combinations of other reasons.
SoranBrunak, lead author from the University of Copenhagen said in a statement that the study shows data for an entire population, for all types of diseases. According to an average, women are diagnosed with cancer after 2.5 years, after men. And for metabolic conditions such as diabetes, they were diagnosed after 4.5 years in comparison with men.
According to Brunak, the data surprised everyone as the gap in onset is even larger, considering the fact that men have a tendency to get to the doctor later, than a woman. The study, however, doesn’t explain the cause of this difference in time of diagnosis and the studied patients were hospitalized.
Dr. Noel Bairey Merz pointed out to Reuters Health that the study lacks information about the age of diagnosis of people who were not hospitalized. Brunak’s study, which is published at Nature Communications, showed one exception, the disease osteoporosis was an exception to the study findings.
Marcia Stefanick, who is the director for Women’s health at Stanford University points out that women are generally diagnosed late for heart diseases because our diagnostic system is mainly man based. And there is a need for proper education of healthcare professional so that there is no unconscious bias.
Dr. Merz added that there is a need for more research to determine whether the diagnosis problem is due to any gender bias or any random error.