Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Men and women get sick in different ways: Developing gender-specific medicine is a major challenge of the future

Date:
March 22, 2013
Source:
De Gruyter
Summary:
Recent research in laboratory medicine has revealed crucial differences between men and women with regard to cardiovascular illness, cancer, liver disease, osteoporosis, and in the area of pharmacology.

Recent research in laboratory medicine has revealed crucial differences between men and women with regard to cardiovascular illness, cancer, liver disease, osteoporosis, and in the area of pharmacology.

At the dawn of the third millennium medical researchers still know very little about gender-specific differences in illness, particularly when it comes to disease symptoms, influencing social and psychological factors, and the ramifications of these differences for treatment and prevention. Medical research conducted over the past 40 years has focused almost exclusively on male patients.

A new article titled "Gender medicine: a task for the third millennium" presents research on gender-related differences conducted by Giovannella Baggio of Padua University Hospital and her team.

The article, which appears in the journal Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), highlights evidence for considerable differences between the sexes in five domains -- cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver diseases, osteoporosis, and pharmacology.

Typically perceived as a male illness, cardiovascular disease often displays markedly different symptoms among women. While a constricted chest and pain that radiates through the left arm are standard signs of heart attack in men, in women the usual symptoms are nausea and lower abdominal pain. Although heart attacks in women are more severe and complicated, when complaining of these non-specific symptoms women often do not receive the necessary examination procedures, such as an ECG , enzyme diagnostic tests or coronary angiography.

Colon cancer is the second most common form of cancer among men and women. However, women suffer this illness at a later stage in life. Furthermore, colon tumors typically have a different location in women, and they respond better to specific chemical treatments. Gender also has an impact on the patient's responsiveness to chemotherapy administered to treat cancer, such as colon, lung, or skin cancer. In this way, gender impacts the course of the disease and the patient's chances for survival.

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a liver disease that primarily affects women. The authors of the study provide clear evidence that for this disease and chronic hepatitis C, the genetic makeup and differing hormone levels of females are a primary risk factor. This finding also applies to osteoporosis. While typically viewed as a female disease because of the much higher rate of female patients, osteoporosis also strikes men. The study contends that osteoporosis is too often overlooked in male patients, and it documents a higher mortality rate among men suffering bone fractures.

Baggio and her team also show variation between men and women in the pharmacology of aspirin and other substances. Differences in action and side effects are attributable to different body types, varying reaction times in the absorption and elimination of substances, and a fundamentally different hormonal status. Thus, to administer medication safely and effectively, the dosage and duration of treatment must take the patient's gender into account.

The study concludes that additional and more far-reaching clinical investigations of gender differences are needed in order to eliminate fundamental inequalities between men and women in the treatment of disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by De Gruyter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Giovannella Baggio, Alberto Corsini, Annarosa Floreani, Sandro Giannini, Vittorina Zagonel. Gender medicine: a task for the third millennium. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2013; 0 (0): 1 DOI: 10.1515/cclm-2012-0849

Cite This Page:

De Gruyter. "Men and women get sick in different ways: Developing gender-specific medicine is a major challenge of the future." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322090850.htm>.
De Gruyter. (2013, March 22). Men and women get sick in different ways: Developing gender-specific medicine is a major challenge of the future. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322090850.htm
De Gruyter. "Men and women get sick in different ways: Developing gender-specific medicine is a major challenge of the future." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130322090850.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins