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NIH Seeks Input on Troubling Women’s Health Trends

Nurse practitioners in women’s health can now submit comments for the Women’s Health Consensus Conference (WHCC) to be held in October to address rising maternal morbidity and mortality rates, stagnant cervical cancer survival rates and increasing rates of chronic debilitating conditions in women.

The National Institute of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) called the conference at the request of Congress and is seeking public comment “to assist with identifying research gaps, pitfalls in clinical practices, and obtaining real-life testimonial experiences (direct or indirect) caused by any or all of the listed public health issues.”

Submissions should be sent to Elizabeth Barr, PhD at WHCC@od.nih.gov by Sept. 15

“Both the House and Senate directed NIH to evaluate research underway related to women’s health and provide an update on priority areas for additional study to advance women’s health research, including reproductive sciences,” ORWH said. “(It) will assess the current state of NIH-supported women’s health research; delineate research gaps and, in turn, opportunities related to research on the health of women; and set contemporary priorities for research on the health of women.”

The ORWH notes that an estimated six in 10 maternal deaths can be prevented; that rates of chronic disease in women, such as COPD, are rising but that research into the sex and gender influences on these conditions and treatments is incomplete.

It also notes that despite HPV vaccinations and cervical cancer screening, incidence and mortality from cervical cancer has been stagnant for the last two decades.