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Ethnically Diverse Medical Study Recognizes that Differences Exist Among All Women

LatinaLista — Not all women are alike.

Such a simple statement but one that many in the medical research field still have trouble accepting.

Just because women share such life experiences as periods, cramps, childbirth and menopause, among others, the popular belief was that there was probably no difference among women in these experiences.

Thankfully, that belief has been found to be just plain wrong.

We now know that ethnicity does play an important part in how women experience these life experiences. Unfortunately, the research community is just waking up to the fact of how important it is to document these differences, for the health of all women.

That’s why one scientist is currently conducting a $1.2 million study on the differences in menopausal symptoms among ethnically different women.

The internet-based study, A Multiethnic Internet Study on Menopausal Symptoms (MOMS) wants to collect data from 500 middle-aged Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian women from across the country.

“Increasing ethnic diversity of our population requires health professionals to practice with greater cultural competence in areas such as the management of menopausal symptoms, where cultural beliefs mediate the biology of reproduction and aging,” said Senior investigator Eun-Ok Im of the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

Since the study is gathering data through their internet site until 2009, the researchers are actively seeking women of menopause age to complete their survey.

Studies featuring different ethnicities are long overdue. As these scientists reach out to communities that were accustomed to being ignored, or forgotten, when it came to adding relevance to any national study, it is time for these same communities to respond to this outreach and add our voices — not just to be heard, but to be counted.

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