Former First Lady Laura Bush urges more health research

In keynote remarks delivered last week during the Annual Community Luncheon for the Center for Women’s Health Research, former First Lady Laura Bush encouraged the 800 attendees at the sold-out event to continue supporting and advocating to fill the gaping hole in women’s health research.

Noting that a high percent of Alzheimer’s research is focused on men even as women are affected by the disease at much higher rates, Bush remarked, “As we improve other aspects of health and live longer lives, the number of people who suffer from dementia is likely to increase.” Calling the disease a “sad, slow goodbye” that affected her late father and is now suffered by her 99-year-old mother, she said, “this research needs to be done.”

Laura Bush at community luncheon
More than 800 people attended the Annual Community Luncheon in Denver to hear former First Lady Laura Bush talk about the importance of women’s health research.

Bush also urged women to become informed health consumers, emphasizing that limited research on women’s health and sex differences means not all health care providers are familiar with how symptoms of heart disease and other health conditions may present differently in women than in men. “With increasing amounts of information at our fingertips, we need to educate ourselves and educate others,” Bush said, “and don’t let doctors dismiss your health concerns.” This is especially important, she said, as “women make a lot of health decisions for their families, and we often take care of others before taking care of ourselves.”

Like the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is dedicated to supporting research on women’s health and sex differences. The conversation with the former First Lady was moderated by Marjorie Jenkins, MD, who serves as chief scientific officer for Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health.

“Having Mrs. Bush share her passion for women’s health with us today was a true inspiration,” said CWHR Director Judy Regensteiner, PhD. “Her enduring commitment and prominence on the world stage are helping us to close the gap in women’s health research.”

Regensteiner also announced seven new seed grants from the CWHR for MD and PhD researchers at the Anschutz Medical Campus, bringing support for young scientists who are helping to grow the field of women’s health and sex differences to nearly 70.

Learn more about the Center for Women’s Health Research at cwhr.org and @CWHR_CUAnschutz.

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The Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus performs cutting-edge research on women’s health and sex differences with a focus on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the intersection of mental and physical health in those diseases. The Center provides women, their families and healthcare providers with the information they need to make informed health decisions and is developing scientists and attracting new minds to the field of women’s health and sex differences.

Guest contributor: Nan Oudet, program manager, Center for Women’s Health Research, CU School of Medicine

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