WHAT: May 14-20 is National Women’s Health Week, and experts from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are available to discuss current research focused on understanding how sex and gender differences influence health and disease. This research is providing valuable insights into ways to reduce disease in women, even as it helps pave the way for more personalized delivery of care for all patients.
The findings of the studies could enhance the training of clinicians, helping them better recognize how sex makes a difference in drug metabolism, cardiovascular risk, brain changes associated with dementia and other medical conditions.
NHLBI researchers are available for interviews on the findings and implications of the following studies:
Sex differences in metabolism and cardiovascular disease
An NHLBI-funded comprehensive review in Circulation Research describes the unique aspects of cardiovascular health in women and specific sex differences related to clinical practice for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Another paper in JAMA focuses on how considering women’s metabolic responses to heart medications could improve patient care and outcomes. Lastly, a study in BMJ reveals some of the consequential sex differences involved in cardiovascular aging.
WHO: David Goff, M.D., Director, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (DCVS), NHLBI, NIH
COPD in women
Women are more vulnerable than men to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). More women die from the disease than from breast and lung cancers combined. In fact, 66 percent of COPD patients are women. Researchers have yet to understand the underlying reason for this increased susceptibility and severity, but a new study has found some genetic links that could lead to sex-specific diagnoses and therapies.
WHO: James Kiley, Ph.D., director, Division of Lung Diseases, NHLBI, NIH
Sex differences in hypertension
Sex differences in blood pressure levels and in the prevalence of hypertension are well known, but why these differences exist is still poorly understood. NHLBI is the leading funder of research in this area.
WHO: Zorina Galis, Ph.D., chief of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, NHLBI, NIH