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Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)

NIH Priorities for Women’s Health and Sex Differences Research

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Implementing the strategic priorities outlined in the NIH strategic plan Moving into the Future with New Dimensions and Strategies for Women’s Health Research: A Vision for 2020 for Women’s Health Research is underway. ORWH leads this effort aided by the NIH Institutes and Centers and by the NIH advisory and coordinating committees on research on women’s health.
The strategic plan identifies three crosscutting themes that provide a conceptual framework for integrating women’s health within the biomedical research landscape:

  • Advancing understanding of sex/gender differences in health and disease
  • Integrating sex/gender perspectives in emerging basic science fields and in translational research and technologies
  • Fostering partnerships to improve translating and disseminating health information.

The strategic plan also addresses key factors for design­ing and evaluating clinical research with respect to women’s health. Life span, health disparities, and diversity uniquely influ­ence women’s health. Developmental, physiological, and psychological age affect the health of women and girls across the life span, as do work, family care responsibilities, reproductive status, chronic illness, and access to health care. Critical considerations also include population- and community-related characteristics such as race/ethnicity; environmental exposures; and the effects of poverty; rural or urban location; sexual orientation; and gender identity.

NIH Strategic Goals for Women’s Health and Sex differences Research

  1. Increase sex differences research in basic science studies.
  2. Incorporate findings of sex/gender differences in the design and application of new technologies, medical devices, and therapeutic drugs.
  3. Actualize personalized prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics for girls and women.
  4. Create strategic alliances and partnerships to maximize the domestic and global impact of women’s health research.
  5. Develop and implement new communication and social networking technologies to increase understanding and appreciation of women’s health and wellness research.
  6. Employ innovative strategies to build a well-trained, diverse, and vigorous health research workforce.

Further Reading

This page last reviewed on June 8, 2015