Women's Health Updates — November 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 improve women's health through science, policy, and education.
On October 22, SWHR celebrated its 30th anniversary with a virtual annual awards gala and honored three women leaders who have advanced women’s health during their careers. If you missed the event, you can still celebrate #SWHRat30 with us!

  • Watch a video about SWHR's legacy.
  • Check out our timeline of important SWHR and women's health milestones.
  • Read a blog about SWHR's 3 honorees.
Watch the Gala Recording
Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar, and oropharyngeal cancers. On November 12 at 2 p.m. ET, SWHR will host a webinar on the need for innovation in HPV-related disease screening and treatment for women. Register now.

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SWHR hired Dr. Irene Aninye to direct its science programs that aim to increase awareness of and investment in women’s health research. Aninye comes to SWHR from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she led strategy teams to evaluate multidisciplinary STEM research and training programs for university consortia.
Research shows that doctors' unconscious biases affect the care that people receive, and these biases can lead to worse health outcomes for women — and especially women of color. NPR reports the story of one Latina women who while seeking emergency care for COVID-19 had her concerns dismissed, instead of receiving care.

An online survey about the impact of COVID-19 on migraine patients found that nearly 70% of people with migraine experienced more attacks during the pandemic. See results from the survey by the Headache & Migraine Policy Forum, in partnership with Migraine Again.

Migraine Resources: SWHR Migraine Patient Toolkits
Alcohol-related deaths for women, and particularly rural women, have been on the rise in recent years. This trend is now being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as women facing isolation and stress look to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Read more.
This article in Ms. Magazine outlines the historical exclusion of women in medical research and how continued failure to appropriately study women and disaggregate data by sex is affecting the response to COVID-19. "Policy changes are needed to reduce sex discrimination in medical research in order to vanquish COVID-19," the author writes. Read more.
Uterine fibroid experts and patient advocates recently gathered for an SWHR roundtable to discuss gaps in research, clinical practice, policy, and patient education that must be addressed to improve health outcomes for patients with fibroids. Read more in SWHR's blog.
Recruitment and retention of clinical trial participants has been a long-standing challenge in medical research. Traditional recruitment practices often exclude working women, people of color, and younger populations. This must change. Read more from STAT News.
Widespread consideration of sex as a biological variable in biomedical research can advance health care for all. This Cultureco article examines the importance of sex differences research and why we must support it.

Many Black women facing infertility say they face an uphill battle in getting care. Studies suggest that Black women may be twice as likely as white women to have fertility problems but are far less likely to seek or receive infertility treatment. Read more.
The federal Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) released a plan for implementing 15 recommendations to address obstacles to inclusion of pregnant women and lactating women in research. SWHR is committed to working with partners across the research community to protect women through research, not from research. Read the report.
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) recently initiated a new topic review of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) to assess the comparative clinical effectiveness and value of aducanumab, a new AD treatment. SWHR provided input to ICER on contextual considerations surrounding AD and its treatment from a women’s health perspective.

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New draft guidance from the Food and Drug Administration encourages companies investigating hormonal treatments for breast cancer to include premenopausal people in the drug trials, as part of the FDA's effort to expand trial access to younger and more seriously ill patients. Read more in STAT.
NIH Women's Health & Gender Equity Research Funding Opportunities
The National Institutes of Health has several grant opportunities available related to women's health and gender equity in academia. For more information and deadlines:
Join the Brigham and Women's Connors Center on November 13 at 1 p.m. ET for a conversation on the future of telemedicine in women's health. Panelists will discuss how telemedicine can meet the health care needs of women and what obstacles and challenges should be considered and addressed in pursuing this goal. Register here.
The Biology of Sex Differences journal seeks reviews or original articles — in animal models or humans — on sex differences in infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and on the consequences of COVID-19 during pregnancy on the mother or in the offspring. All manuscripts will undergo expedited (7-day) peer review. Submit today!