New Veterans, New Patients To Consider

New Veterans, New Patients To Consider

05.06.11 | By Kate Connors

Tonight, the Society for Women's Health Research is hosting an event to raise awareness about the health needs of women who have served in the armed forces.

"Beyond the Camouflage: Uncovering the Health Needs of Women Veterans" will focus on - and celebrate - the nearly 2 million women veterans and 230,000 women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan."

The SWHR has long advocated for women's health research and the study of sex and gender differences, both as independent fields of study and as factors to be included in broader clinical trial design, and has worked to bring attention to the many diseases and conditions that disproportionately or only affect women.

The emphasis on women veterans allows the SWHR to tailor its focus even more to the "number of chronic diseases and conditions such as hypertension, fractures and musculoskeletal issues particular to women, obesity, depression, diabetes and, of course, post-traumatic stress disorder" that plague this most deserving population.

In an interview on Women's Radio's Speak Up! program, SWHR President and CEO Phyllis Greenberger explains: "We're trying to focus on the multiple problems and issues they're facing as they try to re-enter civilian life. This is the first time that so many women have been in combat and this kind of combat, and they're returning with a lot of psychological and physical issues, many of which have not been seen before."

The emphasis is ongoing, Greenberg said, with a scientific conference in July to continue the discussion.

This speaks to the many populations that researchers must consider when engaged in the battle with diseases. From underserved populations to rare disorders, to the emergence of new health threats, the challenges don't stop -- but neither does the war that researchers wage.

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