Research in women's health deserves more attention, and not only for conditions related to reproduction. Clinical and pre-clinical studies alike tend to focus on men: for example, only one-third of people participating in clinical trials relating to cardiovascular disease are women, and an analysis of neuroscience studies published in six journals in 2014 found that 40% of them used only male animals.
Although progress can be made when women’s health challenges are brought to the fore, women’s health advocates caution that the field is often still viewed too narrowly. The study of health and disease in women should not be limited to conditions that affect only women. Conditions such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease affect men and women differently. Such diseases must be studied in both men and women, with the recognition that diagnosis, prognosis and treatment might need to be different between the sexes.