The COVID-19 pandemic provided a glimpse of how important health and associated healthcare is, to individuals in particular, society at large, and to the global economy. Over the years, considerable strides in innovation and economic growth have been possible through concerted efforts to develop vaccines, medicines, and devices that support better healthcare.
Sectors that have focused on strategic resilience and rapidly reinventing their capabilities have been able to advance their pursuits, even during the pandemic. As we continue to rebuild and re-invent, it is important to restore focus, while striving to enhance and support broad based health care practices.
With March 8th celebrated as ‘International Women’s Day’ it is important to understand that biological differences may lead to different disease risk for women, and to identify such diseases. There are underlying factors that contribute to this difference. Though factors like lifestyle, behavioral differences, and environmental factors contribute, there are cellular and molecular biological differences that play a role too.
Patient Diversity at Navitas Life Sciences
Navitas Life Sciences has 120,000+ Volunteers, that includes a diverse participant population. Patient diversity in clinical trials is imperative to ensure that the study population in a trial represents the patient population who will finally use the medication, allowing the results to be generalized.
The U.S.FDA issued guidelines in November 2020 for sponsors to include participants relevant across age, gender, ethnicity, and race. The guidelines further stated that inadequate representation will provide insufficient information for product labeling. One of the ways to ensure a representative population is to include adequate numbers of women in clinical trials, and to include racial and ethnic minorities.
Patient Diversity and capabilities For BABE studies
Focus on studies on women
The biological differences afforded by women may contribute to differences that occur in clinical outcomes, which can be identified through research. Certain disease conditions differentially or disproportionately affect women. Such diseases result in a greater burden of disease among women than men.
An example of such differentiation is that among women and men who smoke the same number of cigarettes, there is a 20 to 70% higher risk of women being affected with lung cancer than men. Another example is that women suffer different signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease than men.
Some Diseases affecting Women
1) Heart disease in women: According to the World Heart Federation, cardiovascular disease can sometimes be worse in women than in men. It is the leading cause of death in women, with over 2 million premature deaths every year.
Cardiovascular disease is associated with one-third of deaths among women, with 3.3 million lives lost due to heart attacks in women.
Some tips to lower risk of heart disease include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, managing stress levels and limiting alcohol intake.
2) Cancer: The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2019, among people below 70 years of age, cancer is either the first or second leading cause of death in most countries. Though cancer affects men and women, certain cancers have a higher incidence among women than men.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, with an estimated 2.3 million cases diagnosed in the year 2020. This type of cancer that originates in the milk ducts of women, mostly, has surpassed the incidence of even lung cancer. Ovarian cancer and cervical cancer are other cancers that affect women, with nearly 22,000 new incidences of ovarian cancer in the U.S in 2020.
Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are important to lower cancer and other disease risk. In addition, breast feeding, avoiding birth control pills after 35 years of age, and avoiding post-menopausal hormone treatment are known to lower the risk of breast cancer among women.
3) Autoimmune disease: Autoimmune conditions are those in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells. It has been found that such conditions have a greater prevalence in women, with a 2:1 incidence when compared to men. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by pain and immobilizations of feet, ankles, fingers, and wrists, affecting women in a 3:1 ratio.
The risk of autoimmune diseases can be reduced by avoiding environmental toxins, maintaining a healthy weight, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and getting a good night’s sleep.
Over the past few centuries, better nutrition, vaccines and medicines have contributed to improvements in global health. Clinical research has helped improve survival rates for people suffering from heart disease, cancer and more, aiding an improved quality of life and better productivity.
According to certain estimates, one-third of economic growth in developed countries over the past century has been due to improved health of populations. Health has contributed to income growth as much as education has, raising awareness about the relevance of safeguarding health.
Navitas Life Sciences has always been at the forefront of health, helping to bring lifesaving drugs to the market faster. We are determined to focus on areas with unmet needs, with digitally enabled resources to conduct efficient clinical trials.