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Women aren't men
Date:11/19/2007

different results in male and female animals. To her surprise, preliminary findings showed it did.

Kibbe's early results reveal male animals respond better to the nitric-oxide-based therapy better than females. "If we actually see gender differences in our therapy when the study is complete, it may mean that we have to tailor our therapy so that it could be equally effective in both genders," she said. "This could lead me down a whole new research path."

In cardiovascular therapies, gender research is in its infancy, Kibbe noted. "Right now very few investigators are looking at the differences between men and women with respect to these cardiovascular therapies," she said.

A common obstacle for most researchers is recruiting enough participants for their studies. To address this challenge, the institute will develop the Illinois Women's Health Registry to provide a vast pool of potential study subjects with diverse backgrounds. This registry will be a critical tool for researchers who don't necessarily have the staff or the marketing skills to go out and recruit people.

The registry will tap the 12,000 women who come through Prentice Women's Hospital each year as well as the community at large, so all women will have an opportunity to participate. Woodruff hopes this registry will encourage researchers to do more gender studies.

One reason researchers have shied away from using women in studies is their fluctuating hormones. "Hormones are complex, but they can be taught," Woodruff said.


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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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