Women often ignored in research trials

June 9, 2010 at 1:20 PM
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CHICAGO, June 9 (UPI) -- Medical researchers say U.S. women remain vastly underrepresented in biomedical research compared with men.

Scientists from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine say despite significant differences in the way females experience many diseases, medications and therapies -- and despite federal mandates to include women in studies -- there is much that still needs to be done.

"It's time for the sex bias in basic research and clinical medicine to end," said Professor Teresa Woodruff, director of the university's Institute for Women's Health Research. She said gender bias has an enormous effect on women's health, resulting, for example, in delayed diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of women, and in adverse reactions to medication.

Woodruff says women need to be adequately represented in studies, and results need to be specifically designed and analyzed to determine sex differences in order for both men and women to receive more tailored care.

The research commentary that included postdoctoral fellows Alison Kim and Candace Tingen appears in the journal Nature.

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