Journalist, author, and editor Maya Dusenbery first became interested in why women are so often misdiagnosed about five years ago, right after she learned she had rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease.
Dusenbery, an executive editor at Feministing and author of “Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick,” spoke at the recent Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine conference about her research and reporting on the gender gap surrounding medical diagnosis. Continue reading
Using appropriate terminology when reporting on medical studies is important not only for the sake of accuracy and clarity, but also to avoid causing harm to populations by using specialized but often misused terms.
This can be especially true when reporting on transgender people, a population now battling a proposal by the Trump administration proposal that in effect would define them “out of existence” as far as government programs, regulations and funding are concerned, as the New York Times recently reported. It’s more important than ever for journalists to avoid inappropriate terminology when reporting on this population. Continue reading
A study of a diverse population of 2,000 women living the United States has found that everyday experiences of discrimination contributes to risk of increased blood pressure in the course of 10 years.
Obviously, in a climate of #MeToo and sexual assault allegations and criminal findings against a host of people in public life, the effect of any discrimination against women should attract attention. As of yet, however, no outlets seem to have covered the study, which was published Sept. 21 in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine (paywalled). Certainly, there are angles to women’s experiences of discrimination, past and present, and health effects over time. Continue reading
More and more medical studies are focusing on research about transgender individuals: demographics, surgeries, insurance coverage, unique health needs, prevalence of mental health conditions, pregnancy, hormone therapy and any number of other issues and research questions related to transgender identity. That means journalists covering these studies need to be sure they are using appropriate terminology and not inadvertently reinforcing stereotypes or stigma. Continue reading
The most recent edition of The Associated Press Stylebook – the premier guide for copy editors – has a number of updates that are important for health journalists to be aware of. Many of them are around the subject of drug and alcohol use and misuse, which many of my colleagues find themselves writing about quite a bit these days.
When it comes to social determinants and health, gender is one of the uncontrollable risk factors that can impact health. And while science still is exploring the extent of this impact, Consumer Reports recently examined six areas where differences have more clearly emerged.
These areas – colon cancer, heart attack, depression, smoking cessation, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases – not only can have gender-specific symptoms but increasingly can benefit from more tailored care (including medication), according to Consumer Reports’ November On Health newsletter. Researchers also have begun to explore how gender affects pain and opioid use, it reported. Continue reading