The Importance of Women's Health Research in women's health is critically important. We know that diseases sometimes manifest differently in women than in men; sometimes women also respond differently to regulated products. There are several factors that can influence these differences. A person's health is influenced throughout his life by many factors.
Some of the most important factors include sex, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, environment and socioeconomic status. Researchers are discovering the critical role that sex (being male or female) and gender identity (including social and cultural factors) play in health, well-being and disease progression. The discoveries being made through the study of women's health and gender differences are key to advances in personalized medicine for both sexes. Even a slight increase in capital invested in basic women's health research would generate staggering returns that would capture the attention of anyone on Wall Street or Silicon Valley.
In other contexts, however, there has been less progress, including research on other conditions affecting women and identifying ways to reduce disparities between women's subpopulations. The committee focused on health conditions that are specific to women, are more common or more severe in women, have different causes or manifestations in women, have different outcomes or treatments in women, or have high morbidity or mortality in women. Relevant U.S. government agencies include the Department of Health and Human Services and its institutes and agencies, especially the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Research and Quality of Medical Care and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and.
In addition, by not sufficiently funding the study of women's health problems, we have left an enormous amount of money on the table. The committee considered whether to discuss unwanted pregnancy as a health outcome or a determinant of health. Limitations in the design, analysis and scientific reporting of health research have delayed progress in women's health. The rapid development of treatments has benefited women despite the focus of research on men; however, the predominance of studies focusing on men has limited some of the benefits for women.
For too long, medical sciences have treated men and women as interchangeable subjects, favoring men's health for funding and the male body for study. Large observational studies, such as the observational arm of the WHI, the Nurses' Health Study and the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), were coordinated among several research centers to accumulate large and diverse samples and were especially useful in generating hypotheses for testing. Women make up just over half of the American population and should not be considered a special minority population, but rather an egalitarian gender whose health needs require the same research efforts as those of men. However, progress has not been observed to the same extent in all groups of women; for example, black women have a higher mortality from breast cancer than white women despite a lower incidence.
To gain knowledge of existing studies that individually do not have a sufficient number of female subjects for separate analysis, the director of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology of the Department of Health and Human Services should support the development and implementation of mechanisms for the pooling of patients. The studies led to the recognition of CVD in women and, subsequently, to the extension of diagnosis and treatments for CVD to women. Research on women's health and efforts to advance women's careers in biomedicine are being conducted at NIH institutes, centers and offices, as well as other agencies within the U. Many of the conditions that the committee reviewed are more common or have worse outcomes for women who are socially disadvantaged than for women who are not.