Did you know that women have different side effects to medicine than men have? For example, a beneficial side effect of aspirin is prevention of heart disease, right? Not for women. Because women were not included in the original research on aspirin and heart disease, doctors were unaware that women get no cardiac benefit from prophylactic aspirin. For 20 years, women were prescribed aspirin for no reason, noted Nieca Goldberg, MD, Keynote speaker.
And yet, since 1985 more women than men have died of cardiovascular disease, stated Dr. Goldberg, and 2/3 of the women who died never even made it to the hospital!
This lack of science-based health information regarding women is the main reason the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and Healthywomen.org held the recent 2nd Annual Women’s Health Innovation and Leadership Showcase (WHILS) in NYC.
MedShadow was also a sponsor. More than 300 women healthcare professionals, and a few male professionals, gathered to hear 10 speakers discuss why it’s important that women be involved in medical research, both as designers and as subjects, and the urgent need for health literacy among all strata of women.
I was not surprised to learn from Dr. Goldberg that women make 80% of all the medical decisions in the family. Women hold the conversations with doctors about the risks and benefits of medicines, balancing the side effects compared to health improvement.
The 7-hour conference was packed with ideas and information on the healthcare industry and women’s health in America. After all, as panelist and investor Anula Jayasuriya said, how can women’s health be considered a niche market when women are the majority of the population and users?
The live tweeting during the conference captured highlights. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite, thought-provoking tweets. See more at #WHILS.
Look for the #WHILS hashtag on Twitter to find more comments about the Women’s Health Inovation Leadership Showcase.