Women Scholars Significantly Underrepresented in Heart Failure Research Studies

While about a quarter of physicians and researchers working in advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology are women, the representation of women leading research in the field remains limited, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

The analysis found that less than 20 percent of first authors on manuscripts cited to support the highest recommendations in heart failure treatment guidelines were women, and less than 15 percent of the senior authors were women. Furthermore, only 16 percent of contemporary clinical trials in heart failure had a woman as a first or senior author.

Despite this lack of representation in authorship, researchers found that clinical trials with higher proportions of women authors had a higher number of female participants — aligning with a longstanding priority from federal organizations to increase the enrollment of women in clinical trials.

“Diversity in authorship can have a snowball effect across the field — not only in improving gender equity in cardiovascular medicine, but also perhaps in reducing the underrepresentation of women in clinical trials,” notes Nosheen Reza, the study’s lead author, and an instructor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Reza received her medical training at the University of Virginia.

The full study, “Representation of Women Authors in International Heart Failure Guidelines and Contemporary Clinical Trials,” was published on the website of the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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