Research lacking on gender differences in disease, study finds

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Glaring gaps persist in medical researchers’ efforts to understand gender differences in common diseases, two decades after the passage of pivotal legislation mandating that more women be included in clinical trials, concludes a report being released Monday at a women’s health summit in Boston.

The authors said research still lags on understanding how treatments for heart disease affect the sexes differently, because women make up only one-third of the participants in clinical trials to test new drugs and medical devices, and most of these studies don’t report results for men and women separately.

Women who don’t smoke are, for unknown reasons, three times more likely than non-smoking men to get lung cancer, but they’re still less likely than men to enroll in lung cancer studies, notes the report from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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