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In celebration of Women’s Health Research Day, we would like to take the time to acknowledge the great strides that are being made to improve research on women’s health and in Sjögren’s among other autoimmune diseases.  

Autoimmune diseases affect approximately 8% of the United States population with 80% of patients with autoimmune diseases being women.1 Although autoimmune diseases mostly affect women, the OADR will still include research on men with autoimmune diseases. Patient stratification (identification of subgroups) is still a much needed area of study in autoimmune disease research.

Recently, the Office of Autoimmune Disease Research (OADR) was created under the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH). The Sjögren’s Foundation has actively participated in the Autoimmune Disease Coordinating Committee, which will aid the OADR in achieving its goals and help guide them to areas of research that are needed for the Sjögren’s community. You can read more about the OADR here or members of the Foundation can read about its creation in the November/December issue of Conquering Sjögren’s .

In November of last year, we informed you about the Women’s Health Research Initiative championed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and its goals to improve women’s health by addressing women’s specific health needs and gaps in research. You can read more about this initiative here.

This is an exciting time for women’s health research and an opportunity to improve research on women’s health in general and autoimmune disease specifically, which has historically been underrepresented!

1. Fairweather, D., Frisancho-Kiss, S., & Rose, N. R. (2008). Sex differences in autoimmune disease from a pathological perspective. The American Journal of Pathology, 173(3), 600–609.