Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • CAREER BRIEF

Medical research often ignores differing health outcomes for men and women

Female co-authorship increases the likelihood that a medical-research paper will address gender-related differences in disease or treatment outcomes, a study in Nature Human Behaviour finds (M. W. Nielsen et al. Nature Hum. Behav. 1, 791–796; 2017). Neglecting these disparities — which affect health outcomes in conditions such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis — can have life-threatening consequences, the study adds. The authors analysed more than 1.5 million medical-research papers published between 2008 and 2015. They found that the research was most likely to address gender differences when female scientists were first and last authors. However, female researchers comprised only 40% of first authors and 27% of last authors in the papers analysed. This is troubling, the study authors say, because last authors usually lead on identifying, planning and developing research pursuits in health disciplines. Increasing numbers of medical researchers, journal editors and science agencies already acknowledge the importance of including gender analysis in research, the authors note.

Nature 553, 119 (2018)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-017-08993-w

Subjects

Nature Careers

Jobs

Nature Briefing

An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing

Search

Quick links