Cardiovascular Trials Still Predominantly Led by Men, Study Finds
A recent analysis of cardiovascular trials reveals that fewer than one in five trials were led by a female principal investigator (PI), suggesting there’s work to be done to achieve a greater rate of female leadership in heart research.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley reviewed 620 industry- and NIH-funded cardiovascular trials that took place from 2010 to 2019 and found no notable change in the proportion of female PIs in that time period.
The as-yet-unpublished study, presented at the recent annual American College of Cardiology Scientific Session meeting, found only 18.4 percent of the trials overall were led by females, with 18.9 percent of new drug and 9.6 percent of device trials having a female PI at the helm. Although women served more often as PIs for NIH-funded trials than for industry-sponsored trials, both saw low leadership rates (28.9 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively). A greater presence of female PIs may help make a dent in a historically lower proportion of female participants in cardiovascular trials, the findings suggest, as the trials led by women recruited 44.9 percent female participants compared to 37.9 percent in male-led studies.