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Targeting Older Women

Campaign promotes research on women's health issues

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- More medical studies need to be done on older women's health issues and more older women need to take part in such studies, says the Society for Women's Health Research.

To encourage that, the society has launched a campaign called "Some Things Only a Woman Can Do" to educate women about medical research studies and about medical conditions that affect them.

The campaign goal is to get women more involved in their own health and to get involved in research that will benefit future generations of women.

The society says there's a lack of research on long-term health for women, who often live for more than 30 years after menopause. As women live longer, they may be affected by a number of chronic diseases that can impair their quality of life.

It's predicted that by next year, more than 20 percent of Americans will be 65 and older. Of the people who reach 85 or older, women are more likely than men to suffer chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

Many more women than men survive to the ages when Alzheimer's disease is most prevalent.

It wasn't until the early 1990s that researchers were legally required to include women in clinical trials. So much of what is known about health and disease has come from men under age 70, the society says.

However, research shows there are important differences between men and women with regard to disease and treatment response.

The "Some Things Only a Woman Can Do" campaign materials are available in English and Spanish. They offer information about medical research, types of studies available, what women need to know about taking part in studies, and how to find disease-specific studies.

There's also a brochure created specifically for older women.

More information

You can get the "Some Things Only a Woman Can Do" materials by calling 1-877-332-2636 or by going to the organization's Web site.

SOURCE: Society for Women's Health Research, news release, December 2002
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