Women's Health Updates — September 2019
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.

SWHR CEO Dr. Amy M. Miller and Board member Dr. Nieca Goldberg share their women's health expertise in this New York Post article about how the medical field dismissed female health concerns for decades. Goldberg (pictured) says she often sees women who have had their concerns dismissed by another doctor.
Changing your daily caffeine intake — regardless of whether it's increasing or decreasing — may trigger an attack for some people with migraine, SWHR Migraine Network member Dr. Dawn Buse explains to Bustle . If you need a little help understanding your migraine triggers, download the SWHR Migraine Patient Toolkit , which includes a headache diary so you can better track your symptoms and triggers.
Women face a multitude of barriers to receiving quality care for endometriosis, a chronic, often painful disease that affects about 10% of reproductive-age women. SWHR published an expert review in the August print issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology highlighting areas of need in endometriosis to improve a woman’s diagnosis, treatment, and access to quality care. Read the review.

Related: Dr. Stacey Missmer, a member of SWHR's Network on Endometriosis and Fibroids, talks about painful periods in this NIH newsletter and discusses endometriosis on the Empowered Health podcast .
News Roundup: Disparities in Science and Medicine
"This idea that women are just men with pesky hormones has led to some woman-shaped blind spots in medicine," comedian John Oliver explains in a recent segment on Last Week Tonight looking at gender and racial bias in medicine.
You can find them in the lobbies, passageways, and lecture halls of many academic institutions: walls decorated with portraits of white men. Some institutions are rethinking these "dude walls" and how they are perceived. "It just sends the message ... that science consists of old white men," one researcher explains in this NPR story .
One-third of the clinical trials that led to new cancer drugs approved between 2008 and 2018 didn’t report on the race of trial participants — and even studies that did report on race often had far fewer black and Hispanic cancer patients than might be expected, given the makeup of the cancer patient population. Read more in STAT.
The United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth, with about 700 women dying from pregnancy-related deaths each year and 50,000 women experiencing life-threatening complications. The majority of these deaths are  preventable .

Not only do women suffer more painful conditions than men, but they perceive pain more intensely too. Learning the reasons behind these different pain responses is an important first step toward finding more effective pain treatments, potentially ones that are tailored according to sex or gender. Learn more on NPR.
Almost two-thirds of U.S. individuals with Alzheimer's disease are women, and yet the reasons for this heavy burden on women are not unclear. However, new research sheds light on the potential impact of stress on women's cognitive functioning. Read more.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to its value assessment framework for 2020 and beyond. ICER uses its framework to determine the value of new drugs, medical tests, and other health care innovations. Read SWHR's recommendations to ICER from the initial input period earlier this year. Public comment is open through Oct. 18.
The Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) met last month to work toward providing guidance for HHS in implementing recommendations from the PRGLAC report on addressing gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for pregnant women and lactating women.

If you missed the meeting:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated breast cancer screening guidelines to recommend testing for high-risk women who have previously been treated for breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal cancers and for women whose ancestry puts them at a higher risk of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, s ome variants of which are associated with increased risks of breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Learn more.
The Organization for the Study of Sex Differences is seeking proposals in all areas of sex and gender differences research, including fundamental biology (evolution, genetics, molecular/cellular biology) to translational science and clinical research. Deadline: September 15.
The NIH Office of Research on Women's Health will host a webinar on the role mass incarceration plays on women’s HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) risks, as well as the access to and provision of housing for women affected by mass incarceration. Tune in
September 12 from 3-4:30 p.m. Register here.
The Biology of Sex Differences open-access journal is asking readers for their ideas for thematic series. Submit your idea today!