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Women aren't men
Date:11/19/2007

CHICAGO --- Women's bodies and medical needs are vastly different than men's way beyond their reproductive systems. Women wake sooner from anesthesia, have less familiar symptoms of cardiovascular disease and are more likely to suffer from depression and sleep problems-- just to name a few of the differences.

Yet, there's a cavernous void in research based on sex and gender. Historically, most studies have been done on men and the findings applied to women.

Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has launched the Institute for Women's Health Research to spur much needed research on health issues that affect women throughout their lifespan. Some topics on the ambitious research agenda: cancer, autoimmune disease, anesthesia, cardiovascular disease, depression, sleeping disorders, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and menopause.

Another mission of the institute will be to create an Illinois Women's Health Registry to provide a large pool of potential study subjects for researchers, who often have trouble recruiting enough participants for their studies. Scientists at the institute also will identify gender-based guidelines for the treatment and prevention of disease in women. For example, do women need a differently designed knee joint than men in replacement surgery or do women need to be given anesthesia differently" The institute will link physicians to these guidelines as they are developed.

"We should look at every research study with a sex and gender lens and see what applies to women as opposed to men," said Teresa Woodruff, executive director of the new Institute for Women's Health Research and the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School. "What are the differences between women and men that need further exploration" What does gender mean in development of disease throughout the lifespan" What is the influence of hormones" We have many questions, but we don't hav
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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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