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Why do more women than men participate in clinical trials?
In our work with recruiting research participants to different studies, we definitely notice that more women than men are interested in being a study participant. Most of the studies we recruit to are open to both men and women, but despite that, it is always almost more women than men that apply.
There are several reasons as to why the participation in clinical trials is higher among women than men.
1. Some diagnoses and diseases are more common in women. For example IBS, which is more common in women than in men. IBS is also a research area that has been in focus lately. Just the last couple of years we have recruited research participants to four different IBS-studies.
2. The last couple of years, more and more research are being conducted in areas that mainly affect women. Often, it involves diagnosis that we currently do not know enough about, such as endometriosis. There are also voices being raised regarding that previous research has primarily been conducted with male research participants, making the results difficult to apply to women. This demands that more research is conducted with female participants.
3. It could also be that women are more inclined to seek out medical health in general, compared to men. To visit a medical centre or a hospital for help, might be a bigger step to take for men than for women, and this might also influence the willingness to apply to clinical trials.
To make sure that research studies are representative to the general population, is a very important aspect. This includes, for example, age, socioeconomic factors and gender. Trialy actively works to reach more men, and we try to adjust our communication and advertisement to make sure they are appealing to both men and women. Today, only 25 % of the members in the Trialy panel of research participants are men, but we wish and hope that as the panel continues to grow, the number of male participants will increase as well.