Gender Impact On Health Is Huge – Women’s Health Research Needs More Investments

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Gender Impact On Health Is Huge – Women’s Health Research Needs More Investments

February 7, 2024

Gender Impact On Health Is Huge – Women’s Health Research Needs More Investments

Migraine is 3 times more common in women than in men. 

2/3 of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Gender differences are real and they matter. 

The Women’s Brain Project (WBP) is a Swiss-based international non-profit organization founded in 2016. It comprises a diverse team of academic and social scientists, medical doctors, engineers, patients, caregivers, artists, and AI experts. The WBP focuses on understanding sex and gender differences in brain and mental diseases to pave the way for precision medicine. This involves tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, including factors like sex, gender, genomic and proteomics, microbiome, ethnicity, and socio-economic status​​.

In this episode Antonella Santuccione Chadha, medical doctor and CEO of Women’s brain project and Anna De, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Women’s Brain Project explain: where are we with data about women’s health specifics, what is driving research in women’s health, what is the negative health and societal impact on women because of their predominant role in caregiving.

Show notes:

[00:03:01] Antonella Discusses Women’s Brain Project:

  • The gaps in medicine for not considering sex and gender.
  • The transformation from an association to a foundation.
  • The need for commitment and support for evidence generation.

[00:05:20] Underrepresentation of Women in Research:

  • Antonella explains historical exclusion of women and the current need for inclusion.
  • Addressing biases and the importance of female leadership in medicine.

[00:08:23] Evaluating Existing and New Treatments:

  • The role of real-world data in addressing the gap in gender responses to treatments.

[00:11:27] Key Findings and Successes:

  • Antonella passes the conversation to Anna to discuss policy successes.

[00:11:59] Anna Discusses Policy Impact:

  • How Women’s Brain Project informs global policy.
  • Collaboration with large organizations and efforts to influence policy.

[00:16:01] Migraine Research and Campaigns:

  • Details on the migraine awareness campaign and insights on how it impacts women specifically.

[00:19:30] Antonella on Scientific Evidence:

  • The role of female hormones in migraines and other diseases.
  • The importance of translating science into political measures.

[00:20:38] Alzheimer’s Disease in Women:

  • Discussion on why two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women and associated factors.

[00:26:00] Relationship Between Research and Medical Practice:

  • Antonella shares her experiences as a clinician and the realization of gender disparities in her patients.
  • The importance of educating healthcare professionals on sex and gender differences.

[00:29:03] Anna Adds to the Discussion:

  • The need to consider both sex and gender differences in healthcare.
  • The societal impact of caregiver burden on women.

[00:33:34] Identifying Questions and Approaches for Research:

  • The conversation turns to the complexities of starting research with the right questions and data.

[00:37:18] Key Changes Needed to Advance Women’s Health:

  • Antonella and Anna discuss the three key changes they hope to see: investment in women-driven innovation, prioritizing sex and gender differences in policy agendas, and empowering women with knowledge about their health.

[00:41:34] Closing Remarks:

  • The need for more research and better patient management, especially regarding menopause.
  • The call for the younger female generation to lead change.


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