August 2014

Five major journals to include sex in studies!

Melina Kibbe, MD  reported in a new study that surgical researchers rarely use female animals or cells in the published studies—despite a huge body of evidence showing that sex differences can play a critical role in medical research.  “Women make up half the population, but in surgical literature, 80 percent of the studies only include males,” said Kibbe.  Published Aug. 28 in the journal Surgery, the study follows a “60 Minutes” segment aired in February that featured Dr.

Monqiue Hinchcliff, MD, MS, Oncofertility Consortium Conference Speaker

load_imageDr. Monique Hinchcliff is the Associate Clinical Director and the Director of Translational Research for the Northwestern Scleroderma Program.  Her research interests include the use of high-throughput, unbiased, approaches to define clinically relevant molecular subsets of systemic sclerosis/scleroderma.  Since 2008, she has led the effort to establish and maintain a state-of-the-art systemic sclerosis patient registry and biorepository that now includes >650 patients with systemic sclerosis. Dr.

Illinois Medicaid to Provide Increased Access to Contraception.

Medicaid patients in Illinois (our home state!) could gain increased access to contraception under policy changes proposed August 18 by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Health care providers would receive more money for providing vasectomies to men and birth control to women under the proposal, which also includes a possible new referral requirement for Roman Catholic providers and others that object to contraception.

Repercussions of Abortion Clinic Restrictions in Texas

It’s been over a year since the controversial Texas law (House Bill 2) leading to abortion clinic restrictions passed, and the repercussions are starting to be felt throughout the state. The law, which was passed on July 18, 2013, created several new requirements, which abortion clinics need to meet to remain in operation. One requirement, which came into effect November 2013, called for clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a certain radius of the clinic.

Women’s Shoes: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Podiatrists call stiletto’s “shoe-icide”.  They can lead to sprained ankles, a permanent “pump bump” on the heel, deformity, chronic pain and even hairline fractures.   Certain ballet flats can also cause serious problems.  To learn more about the potential health problems and solutions that allow you to stay fashionable, visit this Web MD Slide Show.  You can also view our Women’s Health Research Institute

The Impact of Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Medicine

Musculoskeletal health is one of the areas of medicine in which differences between males and females are most striking.   Although males have a higher incidence of traumatic injuries, females are disproportionately disabled by musculoskeletal conditions such as adolescent spinal deformities, ACL injuries, osteoarthritis, and osteoporotic fragility fractures. Therapeutic modalities have been based on studies of male populations or young adult male animals, or the studies do not specify the sex of the population. Understanding of these conditions as they occur throughout the human life span thus has been limited with respect to sex.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the function of nerves and muscles in the body–and it has been getting a lot of attention lately. ALS is the “progressive degeneration of the motor neurons,” and when the motor neurons die, the “ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost,” which eventually leads to paralysis and death. ALS  is 20% more common in men than women, but as one’s age increases, the incidence of ALS equalizes between the sexes.