The Biden White House has recently announced the launch of the first-ever White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. Dr. Teresa K. Woodruff, Interim President at Michigan State University, discusses the significance of this initiative and its potential impact on personalized medicine.
According to Woodruff, the lack of inclusion of sex as a biological variable in the majority of published papers has long been a problem that skews the entire pipeline of work from bench discovery through therapeutic intervention in a male direction. This oversight has serious implications for patient treatment and clinical care, and the White House initiative aims to address these issues and enable individual health in ways not fully realized before.
Woodruff also emphasizes that while not all of women’s well-being is maternal health, maternal health is only ensured by a focus on women. The initiative is expected to bring about better generational health for those born after its implementation and address issues such as maternal mortality rate and lack of services.
The new initiative is seen as a step towards fundamental fairness and addressing an issue that has not been improving on its own. Woodruff notes that the number of studies that cited sex as a biological variable actually decreased over a 20-year interval, highlighting the need for a reversal of this trend. Ultimately, she believes that focusing on women’s health will have benefits for society as a whole.