Does Your Gender Determine When Your Diagnosed?



A New Study Says Yes.



  • University of Copenhagen researchers examined medical records of nearly 7 million Danish adults over two decades.
  • Compared when males and females suffering from the same diseases were diagnosed.
  • Why It Matters: Earlier diagnosis leads to earlier treatment.


  • For the 770 diseases examined, women were diagnosed on average 4 years later than men suffering from the disease.
  • Example: Women diagnosed with cancer on average 2.5 years later than men.
  • Exception: For osteoporosis, women generally diagnosed ahead of breaking a bone, but the opposite was true for men.

aIt has been surprising to see that there is such a big difference between the diseases that affect men and women and between their patient care…”

Lead study author, David Westergaard. The study does not explain WHY the diagnosis discrepancy might be happening. Some suggest gender bias. Others say men tend to go to the doctor less frequently than women, making their symptoms more severe/obvious when they are seen.

“Since this study was just of people hospitalized, itas tough to know if the later diagnosis for women was due to later onset of disease, or actually taking longer to diagnose it, but it does raise some important questions and observations.”

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD, mom & author of the book "Mom Hacks."

Although a 2001 CDC study found that women are more likely to go to the doctor than men, a more recent study found that overall Americans go to the doctor less than we used to. In 2010, the average American adult made approx. 4 doctor visits (vs. 5 in 2001).

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