Biden announces historic investment into women’s menopause health

President Joe Biden signed an executive order that issued a historic investment in women’s health, including research on menopause and mid-life health.

The president issued the order at a White House Women’s History Month event on Monday morning. The event featured First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former first lady of California Maria Shriver. The order allocates $12b for women’s health research and marks the “most comprehensive set” of executive action to improve research on women’s health, according to the White House.

Ms Shriver, a journalist, author and advocate for Alzheimer’s research, called the president’s actions historic, particularly considering the focus on menopause.

“I’ll bet today that this is the first time a president of the United States has ever signed an executive order that mentions the words ‘menopause’ and ‘women’s mid-life health,’” Ms Shriver said at the event.

The order will provide the funds to foster research on menopause, as well as enable the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch its first-ever “Pathways to Prevention” series on menopause.

Further research on reproductive ageing is particularly important for health equity, given that women of colour in the US face disparities in reproductive health access compared to white women. Black women in particular are more likely to enter mid-life with more adverse physical symptoms than white women.

“Black and Brown women are more likely to develop endometriosis and face pregnancy-related complications,” Ms Shriver said. “And we don’t have the research to tell them what to do about it. This matters because when women ask questions, they can’t get answers because the majority of the research that has been done in this country has only been done on men.”

More to come…

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