February 2014

Upcoming 60 Minutes Features Importance of Sex-Specific Research

Dr. Teresa Woodruff of the Women’s Health Research Institute has been a consistent voice advocating for sex-based research.  Recently, Dr. Woodruff consulted with CBS on an upcoming feature to shed light on the importance of sex as a research variable—due to the imbalances between male and female research subjects resulting in inadequate health care for women. In a reaction to the FDA recalling the recommended dosage for women taking Ambien, CBS announced today that their 60 Minutes feature this Sunday will investigate drug dosage differences between men and women.

How Decriminalizing Marijuana May Poison Young Children

The American College of Emergency Physicians recently found an increase in children requiring medical intervention in states that have decriminalized marijuana. The call rate in theses states have increased by more than 30% per year between 2005 and 2011, while the call rate in non-legal states has not changed. There are currently 18 states and the District of Columbia that have passed legislation allowing medical marijuana, including edible products. George Sam Wang, MD, of the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver states that these edible marijuana products may be the culprits to increased exposure in children.

Winter infections beyond the flu!

If you live in a northern climate, winter increases your risk of the flu, head colds, and respiratory illnesses.   These are somewhat expected.   But winter also brings some less considered infections that you may get if you are lucky enough to go on a winter vacation in a warm climate.  For example:  Leptospirosis is endemic to Hawaii especially from October to February and is harmful to animals and humans.   Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever) is a fungus found in the southwest U.S. and Mexico.

Hot Flashes Years After Menopause

New long-term research shows that hot flashes continue, on average, for five years after menopause. More than a third of women can experience hot flashes for up to ten or more years after menopause.

A recent study evaluated 255 women in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study who reached natural menopause over a 16-year period. The results indicate that 80 percent reported moderate to severe hot flashes, 17 percent had only mild hot flashes, and three percent reported no hot flashes.

Temporomandibular disorder screening guidelines

The first ever Recommendations for Diagnosing TMD have been published with support from NIH. Despite a prevalence rate of 2:1 women to men, there was no mention of the sex differences for TMD in the abstract, NIH press release or accompanying editorial.   This continues to frustrate the women’s health research community who are actively advocating for more sex based research.  This latest announcement indicates we must continue to be vigilant and work with funders and journals to ensure that sex differences become part of the research equation.