Integrating a Gender Lens in Research and Innovation
Much of modern medicine is built on research performed exclusively on male bodies, and the effects of this research gap are serious– sometimes even deadly. Some term it a public health crisis Sex and gender affect the manifestation, pathophysiology and clinical outcomes of many diseases. Research is lacking and still in catch up mode from decades of underrepresentation in clinical trials In the United States, women were not required to be included in clinical research until June 10, 1993, when Congress passed the NIH Revitalization Act. The domino effect of that exclusion has far-reaching effects 30 years later. The leading causes of disease in women, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental health disorders, have different underlying sex- and gender specific risk factors which are less well understood than those that affect the sexes equally. Women with AMI have higher 30 day mortality rates than men and are less likely to receive timely perfusion therapy and timely coronary angiography for non-STEMI, less likely to receive dual antiplatelet therapy and secondary prevention therapies, all of which are guideline recommended. Women are diagnosed significantly later than men on average across hundreds of diseases in a Danish population-wide analysis. Women experience adverse drug reactions, ADRs, nearly twice as often as men due to sex differences in pharmacokinetics. And these are just a few of the many examples. A paucity of data persists across women’s health and as a result, there are important gaps in our understanding that influence research, product design, investment decisions, and pipeline priorities, threatening health outcomes for women globally.
NOGAFEM is leading the awareness and implementation of a sex-and gender lens into research, services, and innovation.
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