The main reason that I, as a professor of Clinical Cardiology, got interested in gender medicine was the huge underrepresentation of women in cardiovascular trials in spite of that cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death for women. Also, when study results were presented, they were never discussed from a gender perspective. This is perfectly in order if you assume that the bodies and souls are the same in both genders and that for all diseases prevalence, risk factors, pathophysiology, diagnostics, treatment response and prognosis are the same. It is just to extrapolate the results from men to women or vice versa. We know now for certain that this is not the case. In cardiology and many other areas important biological and socio-cultural differences exist between men and women.
I then met professor Marienne Legato at her office in New York 2000 and got inspired and went home to Karolinska Institutet and opened the first Centre for Gender Medicine in Europe.A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Center for Gender Specific Medicine at Columbia University, New York, N.Y. and KI was signed as early as 2004. It resulted in two visiting researchers: one from Sweden went to the Department of Cardiology, Medical Center, Columbia University and one researcher from New York spent a summer at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
At the International Congress of Gender Medicine Stockholm 2008 hosted by the Centre in Stockholm the idea came up to create a text book in Clinical Gender Medicine and the first book meeting took place and Professor Legato was there.Then the long way started to find a good publisher who understands the importance and beauty of gender medicine. After a lot of search we found Karger. Then started the search for authors with the highest competence in their field and with an understanding for of the subject. I think we have managed to find a faculty with an excellence in research and clinics and also from all over the world. The authors were all asked to make a statement in their chapter about the status of sex and gender aspects in their specific field and whether the management f both men and women was clear or if evidence still was lacking.
We have managed to create an excellent book with soft cover and about 500 pages to a reasonable price .I wish you all an inspiring reading hopefully the book will inspire more research and achieve more attention to gender medicine in every field
Karin Schenck-Gustafsson MD, PhD, FESC
Professor of Cardiology, Founder and Chair, Centre for Gender Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden