Carme Valls: “The idea still prevails that by studying a man, women are already studied” | Hour 25 | Present


When a man goes to the ER with chest pain, an EKG is done directly. With the same symptoms, women are prescribed an anxiolytic. Why? It is one of the many questions that the doctor specializing in endocrinology and medicine with a gender perspective, Carme Valls, has asked herself and tries to answer in her book ‘Invisible women for medicine’. We have spoken with her in ‘Hour 25’.

“Medicine continues to have gender bias. It has improved because there has been research, there has been pressure. The idea still prevails that by studying a man, women are already studied, except for pregnancy and childbirth,” he explains. And he gives two examples: first, menstruation, which “has been hidden for years and is the taboo of medicine” and the other example is “the cardiovascular issue. Until the end of the last century there is no research in women on issues related to problems. myocardial “. On the reason for this, Valls explains that it was believed that “hormones, estrogens” protected women from suffering these problems more frequently.

“We are over-medicating women. Now he is also interested in over-medicating men, but from adolescence and later in the middle stage of life, he medicates women much more,” he says. This is not something that happens in other countries, it also happens here in Spain but “perhaps with less intensity”, he explains. “Our system has a five-minute visit to attend to a person who tells you that he is in pain, that he cannot take it anymore. The system takes time, life does not distribute equality between people,” he says.

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“Primary Care has 25% of the resources, you have to have time to speak and all this requires money. The financing of Primary Care is altered,” he claims. “Women have better defenses, but they can turn against them because they can develop autoimmune diseases. 74% of the symptoms that develop after COVID are suffered by women,” he says.

On the so-called “invisible pain” suffered by many women, she explains that “there has been a great international discussion” about the definition of this disease. “It is a challenge for rheumatology and for medicine in general. Now it includes some 38 points associated with this pain so that, before they give us a psychoactive drug, they look to see if it coincides with any of these points,” he says. “There is a lot of science that incorporates women, but we need the gender perspective to be incorporated into all curricula,” he says.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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