Women are twice as likely as men to die within a month of a heart attack, a study has found.

Among patients admitted to hospital for a heart attack, women were far less likely than men to get angiography or angioplasty, according to the study at University Hospital of Besancon, France.

The study, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Sanofi-Aventis, found that women received fewer effective treatments for heart attack. Women were almost twice as likely to die during the initial hospital stay and during the following month.

University Hospital of Besancon chief cardiologist Francois Schiele said that this suggests that mortality in female patients could be reduced by using more invasive procedures.

Researchers analysed data from more than 3,500 patients who were treated for heart attacks between January 2006 and December 2007. The women, who made up almost a third of the patients, were on average nine years older than the men, but the men had more health problems.