Sophie McBain at The New Statesman:
The data gap is particularly dangerous, and maddening, in medical research. Women are severely under-represented in clinical trials, which means we could be missing out on drugs that work for us and are regularly prescribed inappropriate drugs, or inappropriate doses. As a result, women are significantly more likely than men to suffer adverse drug reactions. Scientists don’t even know the specific effects on women of a huge number of existing medications. This is alarming. We now know, for instance, that one commonly prescribed drug for high blood pressure lowers heart-attack deaths among men but increases them for women. One of my mother’s closest friends died of a heart attack within a few hours of visiting her GP, complaining of excruciating abdominal pain. Women are more likely than men to suffer fatal heart
attacks, and 50 per cent more likely to be misdiagnosed when they are suffering a heart attack because they are less likely than men to suffer chest pain. Many, such as my mother’s friend, instead experience nausea, stomach pain, breathlessness – and medical negligence.