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Men And Women Need Gender-Specific Treatments For Disease, Study Finds

Mar 22, 2013 05:13 PM EDT

Researchers have revealed crucial differences between men and women with regard to how diseases affect the body and how they are to be treated.

An article titled "Gender medicine: a task for the third millennium" highlighted considerable differences between the sexes in five domains - cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver diseases, osteoporosis, and pharmacology. 

The article highlights how the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, typically perceived as a "male disease," are markedly different in women.

"While a constricted chest and pain that radiates through the left arm are standard signs of heart attack in men, in women the usual symptoms are nausea and lower abdominal pain. Although heart attacks in women are more severe and complicated, when complaining of these non-specific symptoms women often do not receive the necessary examination procedures, such as an ECG , enzyme diagnostic tests or coronary angiography," a write up of the paper's highlights stated.

The paper also points out how colon cancer appears in women later in life and in different locations than when it occurs in men, noting that women would respond better to different chemical treatments.

"Gender also has an impact on the patient's responsiveness to chemotherapy administered to treat cancer, such as colon, lung, or skin cancer. In this way, gender impacts the course of the disease and the patient's chances for survival," the statement said.

The study, led by  Giovannella Baggio of Padua University Hospital, concluded that additional and more far-reaching clinical investigations are needed to eliminate inequalities in between men and women and treatment of disease.

 The article appears in the journal "Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine" 

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