Compared to men, women are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, 20 to 70 percent more likely to develop lung cancer from smoking, 10 times more likely to contract HIV during unprotected sex with an infected partner, and twice as likely to die within the first year after a heart attack.

Women and men are different--and these differences may lead the way to a better understanding of health and disease in both men and women, says Phyllis Greenberger, executive director of the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research (SAWHR), source of the above statistics. On Nov. 2, the nonprofit organization sponsored a meeting in Washington, D.C., to encourage researchers to identify sex differences and to consider how these differences may be exploited to develop better treatments for human disease.

Many advances in the understanding of gender differences have been made...

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