In this article, the author, Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, points out that during a 10-year period, a woman 65 years of age has a 40% chance of being admitted to the hospital for a musculoskeletal condition.
Also of particular interest is the fact that women’s health issues across the life span have been incorporated into the required curricula of 68% of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, according to a 1994 survey conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine for the purpose of determining the extent to which women’s health issues are included in the standard curricula of all medical schools in the United States and
Canada. The author cites the need for women’s health issues and new knowledge of women’s musculoskeletal health to be incorporated into the education and training of all physicians and other healthcare providers, orthopaedists and others concerned with improving women’s health.
She discusses how surgeons and amply trained healthcare professionals are encouraging preventive measures for the preservation of bone density and muscle health, and the many ways in which issues of women’s musculoskeletal health are being addressed by the scientific and medical community, such as the research efforts underway, scientific workshops, plenary sessions, and the like. The initiatives outlined are of particular importance as it is necessary to renew and revitalize the agenda on women’s health research for the twenty-first century. Pinn VW.
Sex and gender factors in medical studies: Implications for health and clinical practice. JAMA 2003; 289:397-400 (http://orwh. od. nih. gov/pubs/sexgenderfactormedical. pdf) In this article, the author, Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, cites an interesting conclusion drawn from a report by the Institute of Medicine, which states that “an additional and more general reason for studying differences between the sexes is that these differences, like other forms of biological variation, can offer important insights into underlying biological mechanisms.
” Historically, a male perspective and habit of thought was typically adopted in the design and conduct of clinical studies. But this historical bias is now being redressed through policies, priorities based on gaps in knowledge, and scientific mandates for analyses by sex or gender of clinical research results.
Another interesting fact presented in this article is that understanding the interactions of biological factors and environmental factors in mental illness and health will not only increase medical knowledge about etiology, but may also result in more effective interventions. Over the course of one’s lifetime it is important that certain measures are taken to prevent onset of disease, based on gender-specific research. This new initiative is of great importance as males and females have different patterns of illness and different life spans.
Understanding the bases of these sex-based differences is important to developing new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It is to society’s benefit, that such resources have been made readily available to the general populace. With this information, people can not only increase their knowledge within a few keystrokes or mouse clicks, but can do so without inadvertently wasting time through traditional means, such as visiting libraries and conducting exhaustive research.
This resonates particularly well with students who can use such a wealth of information for school projects and reports, and for learning new things about the subjects they may develop an interest in. Perhaps the only disadvantage, and the advantages outweigh it by far, is the misuse of such information by unscrupulous individuals who may attempt to lay claim to the research and articles, passing it off as their own work. They may even alter certain facts, providing inaccurate or false information to potential readers.