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

Reducing Salt as a Public Health Intervention

A recent article by Appel and Anderson in the New England Journal of Medicine, reaffirms previous studies that have suggested that salt intake reduction can be a highly effective, inexpensive way to reduce deaths due to heart disease and stroke.  Table salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride and the maximum recommended levels of sodium is 2300 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt).   The mean intake of salt (reported as sodium on food labels)  in the United States is very high and far above the recommended levels.   Unfortunately, American men average a consumption of bet

Lots of Hidden Sugars Out There!

Recently, the American Heart Association came out with guidelines for sugar intake.    Women should limit their sugar intake to 25 grams per day and men to 37.5 grams/day.  This seems reasonable until you look at some of the “hidden” or “added” sugars and realize you can reach your daily limit at breakfast!  For example, bagels can have up to 10 grams of sugar and if you add certain peanut butters, that’s another 3 grams.    Granolas are notoriously high—that’s why they taste so good.  Some granolas  have 30 grams of sugar/cup.     Plain yogurt has about 12 grams of sugar but added flavoring can bring you up to  35 grams.

OSA Success in San Diego

The Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA) program model, developed at Northwestern University’s Institute for Women’s Health Research, is designed to prepare and inspire high school girls to become the next generation of women leaders in science and medicine.  The program model has been replicated and implemented at multiple sites across the nation, including San Diego and Portland.  The success of the OSA program model is dependent on the active involvement of high school science teachers.  The role of the science teacher in OSA is to support and guide the high school girls as they learn advance science and health concepts and apply their knowledge to hands-on laboratory and clinical activities.  OSA learning modules are delivered directly by scientists and clinicians working in the fields of reproductive sciences, cancer biology and oncofertility.

Will Better Health Insurance Coverage Reduce Obesity?

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issued its 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report on April 13.  The 2009 reports include a new section on lifestyle modifications because preventing or reducing obesity is a crucial national goal. The reports found:

Stand-Up for Women’s Health

In celebration of National Women’s Health Week, the Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern University is hosting an evening of laughter, good cheer and networking.    It will be held on May 12, 2010 at 6 pm at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts and featuring well know Chicago comedienne Patti Vasquez.   To view an invitation, click here.

When cheaper and easier isn’t better

“By not studying sex differences, researchers could be missing out on potential new treatments for both men and women”,  says Rhonda Voskuhl.  Finally, Science Magazine is speaking our language!  I felt like I was reviewing talking points from one of my own presentations when reading the NewsFocus article titled, “Of Mice and Women: The Bias in Animal Models”  Unfortunately, it is no surprise to us at the Institute for Women’s Health Research that basic scientists are not designing studies that include both male and female animal models.  One reason our Institute was established was to break down this barrier by providing funding to the NU research community to design studies with sex and gender in mind, in addition to stressing the importance of analyzing results based on sex.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby…..NOT!

Yesterday, I started writing a blog explaining why sex and gender research was important.  I got bogged down in historical background, mandates, and the usual boring facts and justifications.   While doing this, my desktop binged and one of several daily notices from federal agencies popped up on my computer.   Since I was having writer’s block, I decided to check these new emails….and BINGO….there is was!     A news release from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one the Institutes at the  National Institutes of Health (NIH).   The title of the press release was “Common Mechanisms of Drug Abuse and Obesity”.   It summarized a study funded by NIDA  that will appear in a prestigious journal in May.   The study found that some of the same brain mechanisms that fuel drug addictions in humans accompany the emergence of compulsive eating behaviors and the development of obesity in animals.  The investigators found

Vaginal Births after Cesarian Deemed Reasonable

This blog is a follow-up to our March 3 blog where we announced the NIH Consensus Development conference scheduled on March 8-10 to discuss the safety issues surrounding vaginal birth after previous Cesarian section.    AHRQ has released a report from that meeting that found that vaginal birth after cesarean section is a safe and reasonable choice for a majority of women.  Each year, more than 1 million cesarean surgeries are performed, and in 2007 nearly one in three births was cesarean in the U.S.  A steady increase in repeat cesarean births over the past decade has been attributed, in part, to studies that suggested there may be significant harms associated with vaginal birth after cesarean section.  Investigators found evidence which showed that while rare, maternal mortality was significantly higher for elective repeat cesarean versus trial of labor.  Additionally, risks for uterine rupture and perinatal death remain rare, but elevated for trial of labor.  Other important outco