Members of the WHRI Leadership council have been longstanding champions for the consideration of sex within biomedical and clinical research studies. Recently, a new study conducted by members of the WHRI Leadership and colleagues, was published in the journal JAMA Surgery [1]. The authors analyzed over 1,600 surgical-based research studies and found that sex biases exist in the reporting and analysis of data.

Study author Dr. Melina Kibbe, Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of North Carolina, and former WHRI Leadership Council member, shares her thoughts on the results, “While I was happy to see that both sexes are being included in surgical research, I was surprised to see that only a third of the manuscripts presented sex-based results.”

Perhaps even more surprising, the authors found that 17% of studies did not indicate the sex of the participants. “These results demonstrate that little attention is being paid to ensuring that therapies are being developed and evaluated for both sexes,” Kibbe states.

In order to promote sex-inclusion within biomedical and clinical research, Kibbe offers the following advice to her colleagues, “I encourage all physicians and investigators to conduct sex-based reporting of data. This is the first step toward achieving true precision medicine.”

The WHR provides resources for investigators who are interested in, or currently conducting, biomedical and clinical sex-based research. Click here to learn more. 

1. Mansukhani et al., JAMA Surg. 2016; Epub ahead of print.