Advertisement

Women, Don’t Fall Into the Health Gap

Women, Don’t Fall Into the Health Gap

The film Suffragette traces British women’s struggle for equal rights, up until 1928 when women over 21 got the vote (it happened in 1920 in the US). A lot has changed since then, but research on women’s health issues still lags behind.

The NIH started to focus on women’s issues in 1991, when Dr. Bernadine Healy was the first female director, but a recent United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) report issued a finding of “Five Evidence Gaps in Women’s Health.” And new report from the General Accounting Office is titled, “Better Oversight Needed to Help Ensure Continued Progress Including Women in Health Research.” Seems the research community may have lost some of that focus.

Those USPSTF-reported gaps exist because of a lack of research into how to screen women for: 1) intimate partner violence, illicit drug use and mental health conditions; 2) thyroid dysfunction; 3) vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis; 4) cancer; and 5) how to implement clinical preventive services. So here’s how YOU can take charge of your health in these areas.

  • If you’re the victim of partner violence, call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). Seek support if you’re struggling with addiction (www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov) or mental health issues (MentalHealthAmerica.net/finding-help).
  • Get a blood test to check for thyroid disease, vitamin D deficiency, glucose levels and arrange for a bone scan if you’re postmenopausal.
  • Get an annual skin cancer check. Ask about getting a mammogram, colonoscopy, PAP smear and other diagnostic cancer checks. Make sure your immunizations are up to date.

Medically reviewed in July 2019.

Worst Case Scenario . . . I Left My Tampon In Too Long
Worst Case Scenario . . . I Left My Tampon In Too Long
When you’re having a busy day, changing your tampon can be the last thing on your mind. Waiting too long to change it, however, can lead to serious he...
Read More
Can polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) be prevented?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
There is no known way to prevent polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). However, if a woman has PCOS ther...
More Answers
6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts
6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts6 Surprising Facts About Your Breasts
Your breasts are pretty remarkable—you may not know everything they can do.
Start Slideshow
How Can Patients Minimize Their Chances of Developing Complications Following Robotic Surgery?
How Can Patients Minimize Their Chances of Developing Complications Following Robotic Surgery?