They are less likely than male patients to receive ultrasound scans and heart drugs such as beta blockers. They are also less likely to be given treatment that helps prevent the problem worsening when they leave the hospital.
Researchers discovered the male/female bias while investigating the records of 9,500 emergency admissions in UK hospitals.
Lead researcher Prof Martin Cowie said: "There is a general perception, both among women themselves and the doctors that look after them, that women are less likely to have heart problems, and if they do they are less likely to be as serious as they are in a man."
(Source: Heart, 2007; doi: 10.1136/hrt.2007/124107).