Women's Health Research Gains Ground, But Gaps Remain
Boosting research on women's health issues during the past two decades has both improved prevention and treatment and reduced deaths among women related to cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and cervical cancer, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. At the same time, it has yielded less—but still significant—progress in reducing the effects of depression, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis on women.
However, other health issues important to women have seen less progress over the years, including unintended pregnancy, autoimmune diseases, alcohol and drug addiction, lung cancer, and Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Fewer gains were found to have been made on chronic and debilitating conditions that caused significant higher levels of suffering but lower death rates, an IOM panel says in a consensus report, Women's Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise.
In addition, while progress has been made in identifying behavioral determinants of women's health—such as smoking, diet, and physical activity—few studies actually have tested ways to modify these factors among women or examined the impact of social and community factors in specific groups of women, the report added.
"Unfortunately, less progress has been made on conditions that are not major killers but still profoundly affect women's quality of life," said committee chair Nancy E. Adler, PhD, professor of medical psychology and director of the Center for Health and Community, University of California, San Francisco. "These issues require similar attention and resources if we are to see better prevention and treatment in more areas."
- Readmissions: No Quick Fix to Costly Hospital Challenge
- Ebola: Health Officials Try to Quell Front Line Fears
- How Telehealth Pays Off for Providers, Patients
- Reducing Readmissions Starts with Better Collaboration
- Defensive Medicine Still Prevalent Despite Tort Reform
- 'Overtreatment' Debate Circles Back to Lung Cancer Screening
- Ebola: A New Normal in Dallas
- Partners HealthCare M&A Deal Under Scrutiny
- How Educated Nurses Save Money
- How Top-Ranked MA Plans Earn Their Stars