Recent reports generated by WHAM (Women’s Health Access Matters, a nonprofit organization focused on demonstrating the economic imperative of women’s health research) highlighted the discrepancies in investment in women’s health research which is, in general, severely underfunded. The example provided focused on lung cancer which interestingly…

• …is the number one cause of cancer death in women
• …kills 1.5x as many women as breast cancer
• …had a 2019 NIH budget which equates to nearly $1 per woman compared to $7 per man
• …did not mandate until 2016 to include female subjects in preclinical research (e.g., rodent disease models) by the NIH

The same discrepancy between relevance to health and funding also applies to Alzheimer’s disease which is more prevalent in women as summarized by another WHAM report. Besides these two examples (lung cancer, Alzheimer’s disease) other types of diseases are also more prevalent in women, including autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis. Additionally, it’s critical that researchers dedicate more focus to female-specific health issues, such as pregnancy disorders (e.g., preeclampsia, preterm birth), menopause, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. These issues have an immense impact on the health of women globally, yet research on these conditions is limited.

Yoel Sadovsky (Magee Women’s Research Institute), co-chair of the PMWC January 26th Women’s Health Track: “Ample data indicate that the 9-months of pregnancy hugely influences health and disease risk across the 90+ years of our lifespan. Pregnancy disorders are associated with a higher incidence of maternal diseases and child disorders and neurobehavioral changes during infancy and beyond. Considering the nearly four million annual deliveries in the US, it is not surprising that gestational diseases may take a major toll on our healthcare system. These diseases and their effect on lifelong mother-child health are best interrogated via precision medicine approaches during pregnancy to help understand dynamic changes of integrated pathways that can lead to lifelong illnesses.”

If nothing changes, women’s health outcomes will continue to be suboptimal. It’s important to note that lawmakers can’t craft effective policies, nor can startups innovate in the women’s health space without reliable, research-supported data. Additional funding and resources are required to study the differences among disease states in men and women, allowing the healthcare sector to better account for the health of men and women separately and increase our understanding of the gender influence on outcomes, treatments, and prevention options.

For these reasons PMWC January 25-27, 2023 Silicon Valley (Program) has dedicated an entire track to this topic: The Women’s Health Track takes place on January 26 and is co-chaired by Yoel Sadovsky (Magee Women’s Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC).

Track highlights include:

Don’t miss the Women’s Health Track at PMWC 2023 Silicon Valley IN TWO WEEKS and hear from leaders about how we can help drive positive change in this critical area of human health.
Register Now for PMWC 2023 Silicon Valley January 25-27


Tal Behar
President & Co-founder, PMWC
PMWC 2023 Silicon Valley – January 25-27, 2023

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