Women's Health Updates — February 2020
Learn about recent developments in women's health as well as SWHR's activities that promote the study of sex differences and serve our mission to eliminate imbalances in care for women through science, policy, and education.
A report from the World Economic Forum finds that at the current rate of change, we’ll need to wait another hundred years before achieving global gender parity. To speed things up, this Mashable article recommends supporting organizations like SWHR that are working to advance women’s interests. Read more.
An edited excerpt from the new book Pain and Prejudice by Gabrielle Jackson details women’s historical exclusion from research and mentions SWHR efforts to draw attention to these discrepancies and advocate for change. Read the excerpt.
Diagnosing endometriosis is no easy matter, and the average diagnostic delay is 4 to 11 years from the onset of symptoms. Scientists are researching how to diagnose endometriosis by analyzing menstrual blood, Everyday Health reports , referencing SWHR's call to action last year on overcoming barriers in endo research and care.
Although the opioid crisis has been dominated by men, women are increasingly abusing drugs as well. There is evidence that women progress from first drug use to dependence more quickly and are more likely to abuse multiple substances at once, which puts them at higher risk of overdosing. Sexism and implicit bias affect female drug users, too. According to experts, most treatment programs for substance use disorders were designed for men, not women. Learn more in The Lily .
About 1 in 7 pregnant women and new moms experience perinatal depression. But obstetricians — their main point of contact in the health care system — often lack the skills to address the problem. A new statewide program in Massachusetts offers support to obstetricians and gynecologists in screening for and treating depression in these women. Learn more from NPR .
"Someone’s menstrual period should not be impairing them from leading a normal life, because we have really good treatments for pain and for heavy bleeding," says Dr. Claudia Borzutzky, an adolescent medicine specialist, in this New York Times article .
Related: Learn more about the stigmatization of menstrual conditions through SWHR's Network on Endometriosis and Fibroids.
While men accounted for three-quarters of total drinking-related deaths, fatalities in women rose at a faster rate: 85% vs. 39%, according to 1999-2017 research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The study noted that women are at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, alcohol-related liver disease, and acute liver failure from excessive drinking. Read more in Time .
Sarah Wells Kocsis, SWHR Vice President of Public Policy, represented the patient advocacy perspective at a recent meeting of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to evaluate three new acute treatments for migraine. Ms. Wells Kocsis answered questions about SWHR’s approach to value assessment and its importance for women in a Q&A with the National Pharmaceutical Council.
A recent congressional briefing celebrated Women's Health Research Day, honoring the policy implemented by NIH in January 2016 requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable in their preclinical research. Learn how this policy advances women's health on SWHR's blog . Read a compilation of tweets from the briefing.
Women veterans are two times more likely than non-veteran women to die by suicide. Former service members alarmed by this trend spoke out at a congressional briefing about the dire need to improve access to mental and physical health services for women veterans, the fastest-growing veteran subpopulation. Read more on SWHR's blog.
In comments to the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, SWHR provided feedback on the strategic plan for the center’s Health of Women Program. SWHR’s comments emphasized the need to prioritize the health of women within the realm of medical devices, as technology designed to improve and monitor women’s health has historically lagged far behind technology designed for men. Read the letter.
Join SWHR in celebrating 30 years of advancing women's health and looking ahead to achieving our vision of making women's health mainstream. Sponsor the event or buy tickets today!
SWHR President and CEO Dr. Amy M. Miller released a statement announcing her plans to transition out of the role of CEO over the next few months. She will assist the SWHR Board of Directors as it recruits a new CEO and moves the organization to its next chapter. Read Dr. Miller's statement.
Former SWHR Board member Dr. Bruce McEwen died on January 2, leaving a legacy as a distinguished neuroscientist and a pioneer in the study of how stress and sex hormones affect the brain. Learn more about his life and contributions.
The Health of Women 2020 agenda caters to the learning needs of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, and other health care professionals focused on women’s health in family practice, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. Register today!