The Woodruff Lab contributes to the Women’s Health Research Institute and Oncofertility Consortium blogs. Read the latest information disseminated from these blogs below:  

Updated ruling on contraceptive coverage

Bulletin:  The US Dept. of Health and Human Services modified the final ruling that required new health insurance plans to cover contraceptive services without a copay or deductible by August 2012  based on comments received from the public.   To quickly recap:  many non-profit religious employers objected to this new policy because their religious beliefs did not support contraception.

More Support of Women in STEM Fields Needed

National Science Foundation (NSF) —which is the leading source of Federal grants for many fields of basic research crucial to US technology development and job creation—is also calling upon universities and research institutes to adopt similar policies for their employees and grantees.

Pregnancy and hypothyroidism

Based on a new study of nearly 118,000 women, researchers estimated that nearly 500,000 pregnant women with gestational hypothyroidism may go undetected each year.

Asian women were almost five times more likely to test positive for gestational hypothyroidism than African-American women (19.3% compared with 6.7%) and slightly more likely than Caucasian and Hispanic women (16.4% and 15.2%, respectively).

Why it is harder for women to lose weight?

Women typically find it harder to lose weight and inches than men.  This, in part, is due to the fact that  men have more lean muscle mass and a higher resting metabolic rate. Another issue that makes weigh loss challenging for females:   women store fat differently from men–more of it goes to their thighs, buttocks, and hips, where it can be harder to shed.  Finally, female hormones promote the storage of calories as fat, and fat takes up more space than muscle.

As the obesity rate keeps rising, especially among teenage girls, we need to press for more sex based research on exercise, diet, hormones and metabolism!


Affirmative Action Law Benefits Women in India

 Hillary Clinton changed the way Americans think about women in politics, and new Northwestern University research suggests that an affirmative action law in India is doing the same for Indian women. The research, published Jan. 12 in the journal Science, focused on the long-term outcomes of a law that reserved leadership positions for women in randomly selected village councils in India.

Top Women’s Health Stories for 2011

The Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern University publishes a monthly e-newsletter on timely issues in women’s health. Our January 2012 edition focuses on scientific breakthroughs and public policies that we think could influence future research and the clinical care women women receive.   We call these ‘game changers’.

statins and diabetes

Older women who take statins may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, researchers found.   In an analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative, postmenopausal women who were on a statin at study entry had almost a 50% greater risk of diabetes than those who weren’t on the cholesterol-lowering drugs, Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, and colleagues reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Webinar Explains How to Report Bad Reactions to Cosmetics

Reaction to henna

From morning until night—styling our hair for work to showering before bed—Americans depend upon personal care products. Most are safe, but some may cause problems, and that’s when FDA gets involved.
FDA collects information about consumers’ bad reactions to products it regulates. If you have a reaction to a beauty, personal hygiene, or makeup product, FDA wants to hear from you.
In this 30-minute webinar, learn:

HPV vaccine does not promote sexual activity

Despite some assumptions to the contrary, young women who receive recommended vaccinations to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and associated cancers do not engage in more sexually risky behavior. That is the cautious determination of a national study by The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Lead study author Nicole C. Liddon, Ph.D. advised against drawing too broad a conclusion from the study, while explaining the motivation behind it.