Global Health Asia-Pacific May 2022 May 2022 - Page 44

Women who have suffered from sexual harassment or assault are also more likely to develop longterm high blood pressure
Though women ’ s health has been neglected for decades in medical research , “ I think we have made a lot of progress as regulatory authorities like the FDA now have strict rules about taking into account sex and gender in medical research along with things like age and ethnicity ,” said Dr von Euler .
In a similar vein , the European Association of Science Editors issued its Sex and Gender Equity in Research ( SAGER ) guidelines in 2016 , a set of recommendations to authors , journal editors , and publishers on how to integrate sex and gender issues into scientific literature . One piece of advice they listed is to ensure adequate representation of males and females in studies and justify exclusion of male and female participants . Taking stock of the guidelines five years on , the authors wrote that they had been adopted by a growing number of journals and translated into six languages , but there were still significant limitations to their systematic implementation , pointing to the fact that many COVID-19 trials included fewer women than men .
Dr von Euler agrees there ’ s still some way to go as research funding agencies in Europe are still too lax
Exercise can help improve bone health in women about boosting sex and gender differences and should demand researchers address them in a meaningful way in their studies while denying financial support if they fail to do so .
The social components of health If we want to edge closer to personalised treatments that can better cater to individual needs , we also have to understand how both biological differences related to sex and social determinants associated with male , female , or other genders can affect health outcomes , a double influence that might be hard to disentangle .
Bone health , for instance , is influenced by biological factors like hormone levels . During menopause , a drop in these levels can lead to increased bone loss in women , but it ’ s also dependent on social activities around physical exercise and sun exposure , two components that can improve bone density but vary based on several things like work and dress habits . In addition , some studies suggest hormone levels might be altered by competition , nurturing , and sexual activity .
One widespread social determinant that has a significant impact on long-term health outcomes , especially among women , is violence .
The World Health Organization ( WHO ) estimates that one in three women worldwide has been subjected to either physical and / or sexual violence in their lifetime , which can lead to injuries , or even be fatal , while increasing the risk of several conditions like headaches , pain syndromes ( back pain , abdominal pain , chronic pelvic pain ), gastrointestinal disorders , limited mobility , and poor overall health . Lesbian , gay , bisexual , transgender , queer , and intersex ( LGBTQI +) are also more likely to experience violence in addition to involuntary medical procedures , denial of care , and inappropriate pathologising in healthcare settings , according to the WHO .
Women who have suffered from sexual harassment or assault are also more likely to develop longterm high blood pressure , a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease , according to researchers at Harvard Medical School who scoured data from more than 30,000 women . They found that those who reported sexual assault had an 11 percent higher risk of high blood pressure , while those who experienced workplace sexual harassment saw a 15 percent surge . Women who suffered from both traumas faced a 21 percent increased risk .
Considering these forms of violence as potential risk factors for heart disease in women can therefore contribute to better care . “ These results suggest that screening for a broader range of experiences of sexual violence in routine health care , including sexual harassment in the workplace , as well as verbal harassment or assault , and being aware of and treating potential cardiovascular health consequences may be beneficial for women ’ s long-term health ,” Dr
42 MAY 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com