“In 1985, a report by the US Public Health Service Task Force on Women’s Health warned that ‘the historical lack of research focus on women’s health concerns has compromised the quality of health information available to women as well as the health care they receive’.
The campaign drew attention to some of the absurdities that resulted from this male bias, which Maya Dusenbery has summarised in her 2018 book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed and Sick. She notes that, in the early 60s: ‘Observing that women tended to have lower rates of heart disease until their oestrogen levels dropped after menopause, researchers conducted the first trial to look at whether supplementation with the hormone was an effective preventive treatment. The study enrolled 8,341 men and no women … And a National Institutes of Health-supported pilot study from Rockefeller University that looked at how obesity affected breast and uterine cancer didn’t enrol a single woman.’
And that’s not all.”
More on The female problem: how male bias in medical trials ruined women’s health via The Guardian.