Today, in a new paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus faculty Judy Regensteiner, PhD, and Jane Reusch, MD, discuss the need for sex-specific health information for obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Mar 18, 2022
by American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology Podcasts
Despite the establishment of NIH guidelines for inclusion of women in clinical studies, as well as clear expectations for rigor and reproducibility in reporting sex as a biological variable in NIH grant submissions, women and females are still understudied populations in human and animal research. Enter this important primer on incorporating sex as a biological variable into basic and clinical research.
At times, opportunities for the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research to have an impact on health occur rapidly, such as when when there are shifts in healthcare delivery policies and procedures. That was the case in December 2020, amid a COVID-19 pandemic surge, when UCHealth received a mandate to start using a new laboratory assay to measure the early signs of a heart attack in patients – the ‘troponin’ laboratory test. The relevance to the Ludeman Center is that this new laboratory assay for the troponin test is one of the first tests to recommend different normative values for men and women.
On October 5, Jennifer Mieres, MD, senior vice president of Northwell Health’s Center for Equity of Care and expert in nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular disease in women, shared heart smart tips to improving health at the 2021 Annual Community Event.
Petter Bjornstad, M.D., from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues transitioned participants with onset of type 2 diabetes in youth enrolled in a multicenter clinical trial to metformin with or without insulin and enrolled them in an observational follow-up study in two phases. Diabetic kidney disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and nerve disease assessments were performed annually and retinal disease was assessed twice.
Both the World Health Organization and American Heart Association recommend that adults perform at least 150 minutes per week (two and half hours) of moderate aerobic exercise, such as a brisk walk or light bike ride, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise such as running or hiking. Importantly, both organizations also offer a third option: a combination of both moderate and vigorous activity roughly equivalent to either of the first two options. So, about two hours of combined moderate and vigorous exercise should be enough to meet those suggestions as well.
In 1994, the NIH created a policy in the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research. This policy mandates that all NIH-funded research must address plans for the inclusion of women and minorities in the research grant application. The Ludeman Center is taking this further at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus to encourage faculty to actively participate in women’s health and sex differences research.
Two community leaders recently joined the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research Advisory Board to continue their passion for women's health and sex differences research. Betty Arkell and Bill Ernstrom will be great additions to our outstanding board. We look forward to working with them.
Middle age and older Americans spend an average of 9 hours every day sedentary. Adults with type 2 diabetes engage in sedentary behavior approximately three hours more per week. The SitWise study aims to better understand sedentary behavior as it relates to cardiovascular health for older women with type 2 diabetes.
Research continues to show a correlation between stress and physical health. Using functional MRI tests and frozen serum from four decades ago, the research team of one of our scientific council advisors — Dr. Jill Goldstein — has made an important discovery on the influence of stress during pregnancy on the brain development of their babies. Babies whose mothers had biomarkers of higher stress during their pregnancy have disruptions in how their brains process stress that are still apparent in middle age. These disruptions are different in female offspring than in male offspring.
The analysis found that at least 38 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day was associated with the lower risk, which is a little more than the current recommendations of at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Cardiovascular and metabolic derangements observed among adolescents with type 1 diabetes and obesity parallel those of youths with type 2 diabetes, suggesting a critical need for lifestyle management, data show.
Today, there is a growing understanding of the importance of researching women's health and sex differences, but that was not always the case. Take a look back at the evolution of science to study women's health - some missteps we've overcome along the way - and the need for a continued focus on women's health and sex differences.
Understanding cardiovascular disease in women’s health is personal for Kate Brown, founder of Boulder Organic Foods and Ludeman Center Advisory Board member. Her father and grandfather both had cardiovascular disease, so Kate visited a doctor to better understand her risk factors.
“Exercise can’t entirely reverse the effects of declining estrogen on the body,” the University of Colorado’s Kohrt says. “But there are so many potential health benefits, regardless of what you do. Anything is better than nothing—and it’s never too late to start.”