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A study co-led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute and recently published in Nature suggests that as some women age, their white blood cells can lose a copy of one of their two X chromosomes. Scientists have identified inherited genetic variants that may predict this phenomenon, which is called “mosaic loss of chromosome X” or “mLOX.” These genetic variants may play a role in promoting the multiplication of abnormal blood cells, which could lead to several health conditions, including cancer.
ORWH, in collaboration with NIH partners and other federal agencies, spearheaded the development of the NIH Policy on Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV) to encourage clinicians and researchers to consider SABV at all stages of the research process. The development of this policy stemmed from an over-reliance on male animals and cells in basic and preclinical biomedical research, which obscures our understanding of the impact an individual’s biological sex can have on health, processes, and outcomes.
The Juneteenth observance commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were notified of their freedom and slavery ended in the United States. Juneteenth also serves as a critical reminder to advance racial equity in health care, especially as it relates to women’s health. The racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes for Black women are stark. Black women are approximately three times as likely as White women to die from a pregnancy-related cause, regardless of income or education level.
ORWH is sponsoring a new open-access supplement in Social Science & Medicine on “Gender, power, and health: Modifiable factors and opportunities for intervention” that will expand on conversations from the “2022 Gender and Health: Impacts of Structural Sexism, Gender Norms, Relational Power Dynamics, and Gender Inequities Scientific Workshop.”
The Office of Research on Women’s Health and the Office of AIDS Research, along with 17 institute, center, and office partners, issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight interest in receiving intersectional HIV research and training grant applications that explicitly center the health needs of cisgender women and girls and gender-diverse people.
The understudied, underrepresented, and underreported (U3) program was developed in 2017 to draw attention to the lack of biomedical research on persistent disparities and inequities in women’s health care, and to support evidence-based research efforts to address these gaps. The U3 program highlights the intersectional experiences of women, exploring the ways in which socially determined categories, like race or gender, overlap and interact to create differing outcomes for individuals and communities.
ORWH recently launched a new resource titled NIH Fact Sheets on Women’s Health Research, which provides health and disease data on women. The fact sheets include relevant discussions on how sex and gender differences and female-specific considerations may play a role in the health of women.
The Office of Research on Women’s Health recently released the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Research on the Health of Women 2024–2028, a comprehensive roadmap that will inform NIH-supported research on various diseases and health conditions that affect women.
May 7, 2024
In celebration of 2024 National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18), we recognize and honor the contributions of Vivian W. Pinn, M.D., a remarkable woman leader who has made history in her pursuit of scientific discovery.
April 25, 2024
Congratulations to Elizabeth Barr, Ph.D. on being named Associate Director for Interdisciplinary Research at ORWH.