Women experience poorer health from missed diagnoses, minimized symptoms, greater burdens of specific diseases, and poorly targeted treatment. For instance, women are more likely to suffer from adverse side effects following drug or surgical treatment, be misdiagnosed following doctor or emergency room visits, and suffer from certain brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and depression, compared to men. Furthermore, caregiving responsibilities (e.g. for children, aging/sick relatives) are inequitably placed on women, which leads them to experience greater levels of stress (e.g. due to finances, parenting, time constraints). Even though women live longer than men do, consistent evidence shows that they are less healthy, diagnosed later, and disproportionately bear the burden of chronic health conditions.
Critically, women’s health lies not only at the intersection of multiple medical disciplines, but also encompasses the humanities and social sciences. Thus, when professionals from diverse fields come together, they can more effectively and comprehensively address all the issues that influence women’s health. The lack of initiatives dedicated to fostering such collaborations is what inspired us to form the Women’s Health Research Cluster.
The Women’s Health Research Cluster is a multidisciplinary collaborative network of researchers and stakeholders that aims to promote, expand, and catalyze impactful research on women’s health. Our members include academics from diverse fields (e.g. economics, nursing, rhetorical studies, neuroscience, nutrition, engineering, anthropology) as well as community stakeholders (e.g. patient partners, journalists, non-profit leaders). By uniting allies, promoting women’s health and translating knowledge we aspire to create a future where women can live a healthy and equitable life from birth to old age.