Women's Health

November 7, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 39
Does medical research shortchange women?
By David Masci

Introduction

American women now deliver by Cesarean section 25 percent of the time, often because they fear the complications associated with childbirth. Doctors worried about the nation's “Cesarean explosion” say it is also driven by doctors' concern about lawsuits and women's desire for more control over their lives. (Corbis Images) American women now deliver by Cesarean section 25 percent of the time, often because they fear the complications associated with childbirth. Doctors worried about the nation's “Cesarean explosion” say it is also driven by doctors' concern about lawsuits and women's desire for more control over their lives. (Corbis Images)

New attention to women's health issues in recent decades has produced heartening progress in fighting breast cancer, osteoporosis and other diseases. But some health experts say women still are underrepresented in federally funded clinical trials, particularly research on heart disease — the biggest killer of women. Others say the new attention has tipped the balance and that women now receive more health-research dollars than men. Meanwhile, recent research revealed that hormone replacement therapy — used by millions of women to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms — increases the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots. The controversial new findings pit opponents of HRT against those who say that it is still safe enough for women with severe postmenopausal symptoms.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
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