Discussing the Health of Women Gainesville Conference Focusing on Research
Stobbe, Mike, The Florida Times Union
GAINESVILLE -- Historically, most U.S. medical research involved
white male doctors studying white male subjects. When medical
officials did concern themselves with women, they had one thing
on their minds -- reproduction.
But times have changed and a conference in Gainesville this
weekend is focused on the future of medical research on women's
Women's health is being expanded to mean not only reproductive
health but also issues of aging, psychology, violence and
environment, said Vivian Pinn, director of the federal Office of
Research on Women's Health.
Pinn was the keynote speaker yesterday at a conference
sponsored by the University of Florida about women's health
issues and research as part of the national agenda.
Pinn runs the National Institutes of Health office that oversees
the direction of federal funding on women's health issues. Her
office has an annual budget of about $12 million.
She is considered a major voice on women's health research. Last
year, Ladies Home Journal included her in its ranking of "the 10
most important women in medicine."
Among other responsibilities she is co-director of the Women's
Health Initiative, a 13-year nationwide study being conducted at
about 40 sites, including Gainesville and Jacksonville. The
study is looking at how hormone replacement therapy, diet
modification and other approaches affect the health of
post-menopausal women. The study started three years ago.
The women's health initiative is just one of the new efforts
going on. Last month, a new study was announced that will take
what may be the first hard look at whether estrogen-containing
hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives do have a
negative impact on women with lupus, as is widely believed, Pinn
She added that government-funded studies targeted at women are
looking at medical issues ranging from arthritis to genetic