Strides in Women's Health Research

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24 (UPI) — A researcher reports progress has been made against heart disease, breast cancer and cervical cancer among U.S. women, but has lagged in other areas.

Nancy Adler of the University of California, San Francisco, reports women’s health research has also yielded progress in depression, HIV/AIDS and osteoporosis.

Adler, chairwoman of a research committee completing a report for the Institute of Medicine, says she and colleagues found issues in which little progress has been made include unintended pregnancy, autoimmune diseases, alcohol and drug addiction, lung cancer and dementia. Overall, they say, fewer gains have been made on chronic and debilitating conditions that cause significant suffering but have lower death rates.

“There is good news and bad news on the state of women’s health research,” Adler says in a statement. “Significant boosts in research on women’s health issues have yielded measurable progress in reducing the toll of several serious disorders. Unfortunately, less progress has been made on conditions that are not major killers but still profoundly affect women’s quality of life.”

Adler suggests across all areas, researchers need to take into account the effects of both biologically determined sex differences and socially determined gender differences as a routine part of conducting research.

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