Blog

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

More on Endometriosis

For some unknown reason, we are suddenly receiving a lot of comments on our March 2010 posting on Endometriosis.    Maybe it is because endometriosis is one of the most common gynecological diseases, affecting more that 5.5 million women in North America alone.   There is a comprehensive fact sheet available from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development on this topic that is very helpful.    Click here to view the information.

Aerobic Exercise Relieves Insomnia

The millions of middle-aged and older adults who suffer from insomnia have a new drug-free prescription for a more restful night’s sleep. Regular aerobic exercise improves the quality of sleep, mood and vitality, according to a small but significant new study from Northwestern Medicine and the Feinberg School of Medicine.  Insomnia is more prevalent in women.

Sex Differences in Stress Hormone Receptors

An understanding why women experience more stress-related mental disorders like depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has eluded scientists but a new study in rat brains may help explain why women are more prone to mood and anxiety disorders than men.

In order to better understand this study, I found it helpful to look up a few key definitions:

Men to Benefit More from Healthcare Reform Expanded Coverage

Contrary to some commonly held beliefs, men, more than women will likely benefit more from expanded healthcare coverage.   According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research June 2010 Fact Sheet,  men represent a majority of non-elderly US adults who lack health insurance across all age groups but particularly ages 18-34.    Under age 18, boys and girls with health insurance have nearly the same coverage with many insured under public plans.   The jump begins when students leave their parents’ plan at either high school or college graduation.  This will definitely improve when the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) becomes effective on September 23, 2010 and raises the age a young adult can stay on their parents’ plans.

One of the reasons young women have better coverage is the fact that they have access to healthcare through Medicaid which has traditionally provided a safety net for family planning and pregnancy coverage for those with low or no income.

National Institutes of Health Celebrates Women’s Health

The National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a day-long symposium on Monday, Sept. 27, in Bethesda, Maryland.  Discussed will be highlights of early accomplishments in women’s health research, as well as a preview of the next decade A Vision for the Year 2020. Many of the advances involve medical differences between women and men, and implications for sex/gender — appropriate clinical care and personalized medicine.

Menopause and Weight Gain

Weight gain during menopause continues to be a challenge to women.  About 30% of women aged 50-59 are not just overweight, but obese.  This weight gain increases one’s risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.    Just when we are getting used to the other symptoms often associated with menopause (hot flashes, insomnia, etc), we now have to worry about other serious chronic diseases!   It’s hard not to say, “aging is not for sissies”.

So why does menopause add those unwanted inches?  Scientists and physicians indicate that it is probably due to a number of factors related to both menopause and aging.

Study finds Women at Greater Risk from Serious Angina than Men

Women with the most serious type of angina are three times as likely as men with the same condition to develop severe coronary artery disease (CAD), researchers have found.

In the study, Canadian researchers analyzed the medical records of 23,771 patients referred for a first diagnostic angiography. They found that women over age 60 with the most serious type of angina (Class IV) had a 21 percent higher absolute risk of developing CAD than did men. Women younger than 60 had an 11 percent greater risk of CAD than men in the same age group.

More on Male Menopause

Our recent blog on male menopause has generated a number of questions, especially on the side effects of hormone treatments.   I went back to Dr. Robert Brannigan, a Northwestern University urologist,  who was quoted in our previous blog on the topic for guidance and he shared an article that was jointly prepared by the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology entitled, “Androgen deficiency in the aging male” (Fertility and Sterility, Vol.