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

Health Literacy Is Not Just about Your Reading Level

We all have friends who are brilliant (e.g, can give you the dates of every World War, can explain nanotechnology, can transpose music instantly, etc), but when it comes to health issues, they don’t know what the difference is between an allergy and the flu.  Nearly all of us have some problems with health literacy.

Health literacy is not only about reading.  It’s about understanding difficult health terms and conditions.   For example, health literacy plays a role in how well:

Botox for Chronic Migraines

On October 15, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox injection (onabotulinumtoxinA) to prevent headaches in adult patients with chronic migraine. Chronic migraine is defined as having a history of migraine and experiencing a headache on most days of the month.   it is estimated that about 6% of men and 18% of women suffer from migraine headaches during any given year.

Aspirin for Heart Disease and Stroke Reduction: Men vs. Women

Aspirin therapy to prevent heart attack may have different benefits and harms in men and women.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S., contributing to approximately 58% of deaths.  The epidemiology of CVD events is different for men and women.   Men have a higher risk for coronary heart disease and tend to have these events at a younger age than women.

Although incidence rates of stroke are higher among men than women, more women die of stroke than men because of their longer life expectancy.

Women with Disabilities and Breast Screening

Breast Cancer is a major health concern for all women, including women with disabilities. About 30% of women aged 40 years or older have a disability.  In the US in 2008, 76.2% of women aged 40 or older reported having a mammogram in the past two years, while women with a disability have a lower reported mammography rate than women without a disability.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has prepared a fact sheet that includes tips for women with disabilities to help them eliminate difficulties they may encounter while undergoing screening.    To view the CDC article, click HERE.

Bisphosphonates for Bones Back in the News

On March 11, 2010, this site posted a BLOG about news reports that raised the question about whether or not there is an increased risk of atypical subtrochanteric femur fractures in patients taking bisphosphonate medication for osteoporosis.  At that time, the data that the FDA reviewed did not show a clear connection between these rare fractures and these drugs but physicians patients were encouraged to be vigilant if using these drugs.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome–a Quality of Life Condition

In the recent Institute of Medicine report that we blogged about a week ago, Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise” it was reported that there has been a lot of progress in the areas of breast cancer, heart disease, and cervical cancer, in particularly, but less progress in areas where mortality was less of an issue than quality of life.   One of those conditions that would fall into the quality of life category is Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is more common in women than in men.

New Book on Oncofertility Available

Dr. Teresa Woodruff, Director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern, and her colleagues have just released their second book on oncofertility.    Oncofertility is a new field of study named by Dr. Woodruff who is a leader in the study of fertility preservation in women who have lost their fertility due to cancer therapies and other conditions that threaten their ability to conceive and bear children.  The issue of fertility preservation is of particular concern to young breast cancer survivors and their health care team.   To learn more about this book and where to find it read below.

Celebrating 20 Years of Women’s Health

On September 27, 2010, the federal Office on Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.    Several of the former or current Congressional representatives who created the legislation to establish the ORWH were present to hear a summary of the progress made in the last 20 years.   In addition, the Vision for 2020 for Women’s Health was presented by Dr.

Why Can’t Americans, Be Less Fat?

I just got back from a brief vacation in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna–the land of Parma ham, proscuitto, Pasta Bolognese and tasty hard cheeses. One of the regional specialties is a ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta covered in a butter sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese (Are your arteries choking yet?).    I was immediately struck by the lack of overweight people despite these wonderful foods that are high in fat and quite salty.   What is it about Italy that allows people to stay thin, yet eat these rich foods?