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Biden's Executive Order Advances Women's Health Research

First Lady Jill Biden waves to attendees during an event with military families at Fort Buchanan in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, March. 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order on Monday focused on advancing the study of women's health. The order aims to enhance data collection, improve funding opportunities for biomedical research, and address the historical underfunding and understudy of women's health. Despite women constituting half of the population, medical research has predominantly focused on men throughout history, with women only being mandated to be included in federally funded research in the 1990s.

Currently, research often fails to adequately track gender differences and represent women equally, especially concerning illnesses more prevalent in women. The executive order seeks to rectify these disparities by promoting more comprehensive research on women's health conditions.

Dr. Carolyn Mazure, leading the White House initiative on women's health, emphasized the need for more effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various health conditions affecting women. President Biden highlighted the importance of research in saving lives and improving healthcare quality, particularly in addressing the healthcare needs of women.

First Lady Jill Biden is actively involved in mobilizing female voters and spearheading the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. The executive order coincides with ongoing discussions surrounding women's health issues, including the impact of recent legal decisions on medical practices for women.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is launching a new initiative focusing on menopause and the treatment of menopausal symptoms to identify research gaps and enhance understanding in this area. The NIH plays a crucial role in funding biomedical research, essential for determining medication effects and dosages.

Various health conditions exhibit gender-specific symptoms, with some being more prevalent in women, such as Alzheimer’s disease, endometriosis, uterine cancers, and fibroids. Unequal research practices have led to adverse effects, as evidenced by a study revealing women being overmedicated due to dosage trials primarily conducted on men.

Recent funding announcements totaling $100 million for women's health underscore the administration's commitment to advancing research in this critical area. President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are expected to unveil these measures at a Women's History Month reception at the White House.

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