The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its annual Report to Congress reporting on 5 high-priority evidence gaps regarding women’s health. 

The USPSTF highlights the need for more research in the following 5 areas of women’s health beyond pregnancy and reproductive health: 

  • Intimate partner violence, illicit drug use, and mental health conditions
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Implementation of preventive services like screenings, counseling, and preventive medications in practice

In the past, the focus of women’s health has been pregnancy and childbirth. However, research has recently shifted to the prevention of diseases that are more prevalent or serious in women and the identification of risk factors and interventions that are specific to women. Experts also factored in social and economic considerations for women’s well-being across the lifespan. 

RELATED: USPSTF Update on Blood Pressure Screening

The Report also includes an update on the USPSTF’s activities over the past year. The public has had the chance to comment on draft research plans and recommendation statements on various topics such as screening for speech and language delay in children to aspirin use for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The USPSTF published multiple final recommendations in peer-reviewed journals and on its website.

“In 2016, we will continue our work with more than 40 active topics, including topics related to the health and well-being of women,” stated chair Al Siu, MD, MSPH. 

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