Health: Research For Men Only

Doctors could use more data on treating women

The huge research project included 22,071 volunteer subjects. And the main conclusion, published in 1988, was headline material: taking small doses of aspirin can reduce the risk of a heart attack. But women who read the fine print discovered that the study had little apparent relevance to them. Reason: not one of the 22,071 subjects was a woman. Admittedly, the overall risk of heart disease is greater in men, but after women reach menopause that difference in susceptibility largely disappears. Many older women would have been interested to know whether taking aspirin would improve their chances of avoiding a heart attack.

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