Speaker: Paula Johnson
Women are 70% more likely to be diagnosed with depression, and misdiagnosed 30-50% of the time. Women and men are fundamentally different at a cellular level, and need different treatment. However, this is not always recognised, despite data showing sex differences in clinical treatments.
Paula described Linda, a female heart patient with a blockage in her artery. Doctors conducted the standard test, and could find no evidence. Paula’s institute analysed Linda’s arteries again and found that her blockage was a different shape to the standard blockage – more of a constant reduction in artery size, as opposed to a single point of blockage.
She gave another example, where women appeared more resistant to lung cancer. Paula has found estrogen can suppress lung cancer, which could have important results for treatment of both male and female patients.
Despite these examples, analysis of trials does not differentiate between sex, which ignores the potential to discover more differences. Paula suggests that when women go to the doctor they should ask the doctor if their illness should be treated differently – to get them to start researching the differences. “Women’s health is too important to be left to chance” – which is what is happening if research does not investigate the differences correctly.