TABLE 4 Summary of Recommended Priorities

Exposure Research

Basic Research


Broader Definition

Biological and Environmental Causes

Annual Workshops

The definition of "environmental exposure" should include additional factors to capture information relevant to the unique susceptibility of women.

Basic research should focus on the biological basis for gender differences and the contribution of environmental factors to the risk of disease from the same exposure.

Sponsor agencies should hold annual workshops to identify and act on opportunities for interagency cooperation.

Occupational Data Elements

Gender Differences and Diverse Outcomes

Institutional Changes

Population-based studies should include more complete and meaningful occupational data as part of an effort to develop accurate information on exposure.

Priority should be given to studies of human diseases that present differently in men and women or in which gender is a modulating factor for susceptibility.

Agencies should work together to make necessary institutional changes.

Multiple Exposure Data

Metabolic and Hormonal Differences

Participating Agencies

Occupational exposure studies should adequately characterize and account for the full range of multiple exposures.

Research should examine the significance of metabolic and hormonal differences between men and women.

Current sponsors should make every effort to expand the roster of agencies conducting or funding research.

Lifespan and Critical Exposures

Genetic Markers

Long-Term Prospective Studies

Research should examine gender differences in susceptibility to environmental factors over the entire lifespan, as well as during critical exposure periods.

Research should seek to characterize genetic markers of susceptibility.

Agencies should invest in prospective research projects that focus on both gender differences and environment. Investments should be flexible with regard to funding mechanisms and should provide continuity for long-term investigations.

Animal Models

Translational Research

Public/Private Cofunding

The development and use of appropriate animal models is encouraged.

Translational research is needed to bridge the gaps among cellular, animal, and human systems.

Opportunities for cofunding and for public/private cooperation with university, nonprofit, and industry groups should be sought.

Cultural and Historical Factors


Improve Access and Content of Data

Cultural and historical factors that account for the distribution of exposures between men and women should be identified.


Strategies for utilizing national health surveys and data sets need to be developed. Input from the research community is needed to shape broader application.



Irreplaceable Resources



Strategies to identify, protect, and exploit other irreplaceable research resources also need to be developed.

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