Women Lead Significantly Fewer COVID-19 Trials Than Men
A new study finds less than one-third of COVID-19 clinical trials are led by female investigators, half the proportion observed in nonCOVID-19 trials. Researchers say the results may indicate a lack of women’s leadership in international clinical trials and new research projects, as well as unequal access for women in research and funding during health emergencies.
Researchers searched the ClinicalTrials.gov database for all COVID-19 clinical trials from Jan. 1, 2020, to June 26, 2020, and recorded the gender of the principal investigator (PI) of each clinical trial, where those data were available — resulting in 1,548 clinical trials. They then compared the same information to clinical trials for breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Of the 1,548 PIs for the COVID-19-related studies, only 430 (27.8 percent) were women — significantly lower than the 156 PIs (54.9 percent) for breast cancer studies and 56 PIs (42.1 percent) for type 2 diabetes studies over the same timeframe.
“The pandemic has reinforced the prevailing gender norms in which men continue to both allocate and be allocated the lion’s share of funding, leadership and authorship roles,” says lead researcher Chloe Orkin from Queen Mary University of London. “There is an urgent need to challenge the structural and institutional biases that favor men.”
The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection. Researchers from the University of St. Andrews, Northeastern University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Medical University of South Carolina and Harvard Medical School also participated in the study.
Read the peer-reviewed article here: https://bit.ly/3kPbp4X.