GendAge: What influence does gender have on the development of diseases?

BMBF funds BASE II follow-up study on the relationship between disease, age and gender

June 14, 2018

Do women and men get sick differently? What lies behind this? And how can health care be further developed in a gender-sensitive manner? This is the subject of the study GendAge conducted by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Human Development to better understand the influence of gender-specific mechanisms in the development of diseases. In addition, innovative concepts for personalized approaches in prevention and therapy are to be developed. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the project for four years with more than one million euros.

In biomedical research, the biological and social gender of patients is often neglected. In order to better understand differences in the development of diseases and to develop appropriate therapies, gender differences must also be taken into account in research. The GendAge study is now to close this gap: "It has been shown that existing measures for health promotion, prevention and care are not always equally effective for men and women. Gender-specific differences are just as responsible for this as personal lifestyle. In addition, there are also different needs and requirements in health care," says project leader Prof. Dr. Ilja Demuth from the Biology of Ageing Working Group, who is conducting the study in cooperation with the Institute for Gender Studies in Medicine at the Charité and the Institute for Psychology at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

GendAge is based on the Berlin Ageing Study II (BASE-II), in which a total of 1,600 women and men between the ages of 60 and 80 participated. Between 2010 and 2014, comprehensive data on cardiovascular and metabolic health, socioeconomics and quality of life were collected. In the GendAge study, the subjects of BASE-II are now being re-examined, so that for the first time medical follow-up data of the study participants will be available. Based on these data, GendAge will analyse effects that depend on biological and social gender, especially with regard to cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. The aim is to develop a new measure of social gender, a so-called gender score. This is to go well beyond the traditional male-female stereotypes.

To mark the start of the study, a kick-off meeting was held on Thursday, June 14 from 2 to 5 pm at the Charité Bettenhaus Mitte on the Charité Mitte campus, Luisenstraße 64 in 10117 Berlin. This text was essentially taken from the Charité press release: To the original press release of the Charité:

Further information

The joint project „GendAge – Geschlechts-sensitive Vorbeugung kardiovaskulärer und metabolischer Krankheiten bei älteren Erwachsenen in Deutschland“ is coordinated by the Charité and implemented jointly with the Humboldt University of Berlin. GendAge combines the Charité's special expertise in aging research from the BASE II study with the gender research of the Institute for Gender Research in Medicine (GIM). The project is funded by the BMBF for four years with a total of 1.2 million euros as part of the funding initiative "Healthy - for a lifetime".


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