Report at a Glance
A concerted effort to boost research on women's health over the last two decades has lessened the burden of disease and reduced deaths among women due to cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and cervical cancer, says a new report from the IOM. The effort has yielded less but still significant progress in reducing the effects of depression, HIV/AIDS, and osteoporosis on women, added the committee that wrote the report.
However, several health issues important to women have seen little progress, including unintended pregnancy, autoimmune diseases, alcohol and drug addiction, lung cancer, and dementia. Overall, fewer gains have been made on chronic and debilitating conditions that cause significant suffering but have lower death rates, pointing to the need for researchers to give quality of life similar consideration as mortality for research attention. Moreover, barriers such as socio-economic and cultural influences still limit the potential reach and impact of research developments, especially among disadvantaged women.