The George Institute For Global Health
United Kingdom

Women’s health and sex inequalities

Women’s health is frequently considered in terms of birthing and childcare. However, this grossly misrepresents the reality of women’s health experiences and needs. Non-communicable diseases and injury impose an enormous burden on women. Although there is considerable evidence of women being undertreated or presenting disease in a different way to men, sex-specific analyses of clinical trials and epidemiological studies are by no means universal.

Consequently, we have launched a global initiative with the twin aims of widening the definition of women’s health and promoting routine consideration of sex-specific effects of risk factors and consequent outcomes. In partnership with the Oxford Martin School, this initiative was officially launched in the UK in October 2015 and is led by Professor Mark Woodward. Similar launches in China, India and Australia followed.

To support our policy work we have strengthened our existing program of work in women’s health and sex-specific effects of risk factors. This work has so far resulted in a large number of publications, including two in The Lancet, with several more in preparation. As well as large-scale meta-analyses, we are working with data from the UK and Kadoori China biobanks and the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD).