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Women's Health Market Research Reports & Industry Analysis

Women’s health is a perspective of prevention and treatment that looks at health concerns unique to females. Even though slightly more than half of the US population is female, medical research historically has neglected the health needs of women, other than reproductive issues. Recently there have been major changes in government and private support of women’s health research -- in policies, regulations, and the organization of research efforts. In a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, the Washington DC-based institute found that women’s health research has contributed to significant progress over the past 20 years in lessening the burden of disease and reducing deaths from some conditions for women, while other conditions have seen only moderate change or even little or no change. Gaps remain, both in research areas and in the application of results to benefit women in general and across multiple population groups.

Viewing women’s health exclusively as a function of sex differences is too narrow, according to the IOM report. It frames women’s health and well-being as a function only of biological factors and how they differ in men and women, and ignores the role of gender, which is affected by broader social and community factors. The IOM finds that there has been inadequate attention paid to the social and environmental factors that, along with biologic risk factors, influence women’s health. Although progress has been made in identifying behavioral determinants of women’s health, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity, few studies have tested ways to modify these determinants in women or examined the effects of social and community factors in specific groups of women. To advance this area of research, the IOM recommends that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support research on common determinants and risk factors that underlie multiple diseases.

Significant progress has been made in reducing mortality for women from breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and cervical cancer. This can be attributed in part to increased consumer demand and awareness, which has resulted in additional funding and research; improved diagnosis; screening and treatment; and, in the case of cervical cancer, a vaccine.

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Women's Health Industry Research & Market Reports

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