National Academies Press: OpenBook

Gender Differences in Susceptibility to Environmental Factors: A Priority Assessment (1998)

Chapter: Appendix C: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 1998. Gender Differences in Susceptibility to Environmental Factors: A Priority Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6035.
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C
Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS


AH

aryl-hydrocarbon hydroxylase receptor


CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


DNA

deoxyribonucleic acid

DOD

Department of Defense


EAE

experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

ER

estrogen RNA

ERKO

estrogen-receptor knockout


HHS

Department of Health and Human Services


IOM

Institute of Medicine

HLA

histocompatibility


LH

luteinizing hormone


mRNA

messenger RNA

MS

multiple sclerosis


NCHS

National Center for Health Statistics

NCRR

National Center for Research Resources

NHANES

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NIEHS

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

NIH

National Institutes of Health

NIOSH

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NRC

National Research Council


ORWH

Office for Research on Women's Health, NIH


RNA

ribonucleic acid


SES

socioeconomic status


TCDD

herbicide 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin


VA

Department of Veterans Affairs


WHI

Women's Health Initiative

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 1998. Gender Differences in Susceptibility to Environmental Factors: A Priority Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6035.
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Glossary


Environment

is comprised of all chemical, physical, and biological features of the earth than can affect or be affected by human activities.

Environmental exposure

occurs in a variety of ways: in different settings (e.g., the home, the workplace), through different routes (e.g., foods), because of different activities (e.g., chores, hobbies), or because of unique or critical times in the lifespan.


Gender

is used when referring to the social expression of living with one or two X chromosomes.

Gender differences

are primarily determined by non-biologic factors, such as social roles, but influenced by sex-steroid hormone metabolism, anatomy, immunologic function, and genetic influences.

Genes

are the fundamental physical and functional unit of heredity. A gene is an ordered sequence of nucleotides located in a particular chromosome that encodes a specific functional product.


"knockout" mice

are experimental mice created by disrupting (knocking out) the function of a specific gene.


MAP-2 kinase

is an enzyme that transduces growth factor pathways.

Multiple sclerosis

is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that attacks the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and the spinal cord.

Mutation

is a permanent, transmissible change in the DNA sequence. It can be an insertion or deletion of genetic material or an alteration in the original information.


Polymorphisms

are naturally occurring variations in a DNA sequence. Polymorphisms are useful markers because they allow researchers to distinguish between DNA of different origins.


Sex

is generally used to designate the chromosomal or biologic phenomena linked to having one or two X chromosomes. Normal females have two X chromosomes, while normal males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.

Susceptibility

is the state of being readily affected or acted upon by the environment. The impact depends on exposure and the individual's ability to respond.


TCDD

is the herbicide 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, a known carcinogen and hormone disrupter in rats.

Transgenic mice

are mice that have a foreign gene introduced into their cells.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 1998. Gender Differences in Susceptibility to Environmental Factors: A Priority Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6035.
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Page 62
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 1998. Gender Differences in Susceptibility to Environmental Factors: A Priority Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/6035.
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Women's health and men's health differ in a variety of ways--women live longer on average, for example, but tend to be sicker as well. Whereas some of these distinctions are based solely on gender, there is growing awareness that the environment and related factors may play a role in creating health status differences between men and women. Various factors, such as genetics and hormones, may account for gender differences in susceptibility to environmental factors.

In 1996 the Office for Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health asked the Institute of Medicine to conduct a workshop study to review some of the current federal research programs devoted to women's health and to clarify the state of knowledge regarding gender-related differences in susceptibility. This book contains a general outline of research needs, a summary of the workshop proceedings (as well as summaries of the speakers' presentations), and an analysis of the participating federal agencies' research portfolios.

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