Women's health research registry aims to improve women's health for future generations

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 12, 2004) Seventy-year-old Trudi Butts is passionate about participating in clinical trials. Her enthusiasm stems from something unexpected that occurred while she was participating in a clinical trial in 1996. Laboratory tests done as part of a study on estrogen confirmed that she had Hepatitis C, a potentially life-threatening liver condition she didn't know she had. Further tests suggested that she probably contracted the disease from a blood transfusion she received almost 30 years earlier. She considers that unrelated laboratory discovery to be blessing that helped fuel her current attitude about clinical studies.

Recently she learned about Cedars-Sinai's Women's Health Research RegistryTM, an ongoing project of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Women's Guild, which expects to enroll for clinical research more than 10,000 participants over the next five years. The registry has been established in an effort to close the gap in the under-representation of women in clinical research. "I filled out the questionnaire immediately and sent it in, as it is a wonderful opportunity to make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge that results from clinical trials," she said. She hopes her enrollment will persuade other women especially African-Americans like herself to participate in clinical trials.

Clinical trials are research studies that test new scientific ideas, drugs or treatments. For many years they didn't include women because it was assumed that if a treatment worked for men, it would work the same way for women. It's been just in the last 10 years that scientists have begun to uncover significant biological and physiological differences between the sexes.

According to C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., Director of the Registry, the Women's Health Program and the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at Cedars-Sinai, "Gender-based research is showing evidence that drugs or diseases may

Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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