Research for the heart of women

An equal Research


In France had been installed for the first time a Scientific Council by the initiative of the Cardio-Vascular Research Foundation-Institut de France, with the Professors who are members of the Academy of Science.

HAVING THE AIM : to get mobilised for the cardio-vascular diseases of women, and to develop the specifically feminine research programmes. 

Up to now, 70% of research was done on males or male animals and the results were then applied to women, as if they didn’t exist or were like men.

When will there be an equal research?

Despite of great similarities, the heart of a woman is still smaller. Its cells, its cadiomyocytes are showing functional differences. The structure of the vessels makes it more fragile and, on a molecular basis, there are numerous genes which appear different. And overall, it is not beating isolated, but within a female body, which is different to a man’s one.

This is called “sexual diphorism”. It permits to distinguish a male and a feminine individual. The word “sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics, which make the difference between women and men and which don’t change between one society and another.

Our objectives are to awaken the conscience for the need of a medicine, which is considering the differences of sex for:

  • A balanced research
  • Adapted medical practices for men and women

Women and men are reacting differently, specially to environmental facts (nutrition, stress, medicamentation, climate, society …). The biological differences between men and women had to develop just like a compromise between survival and reproduction. Today, the equity in research has not yet been reached and the majority of the studies is generally directed to the male sex, as well for the studies among animals (rat) as for the clinical studies for men. And afterwards the results were imposed on women.



While the medicine applied for men is based on scientific evidence, astonishingly enough you have to realize that the one concerning women is less by today.

But everybody has its own biological sex and you have to know that the male embryo doesn’t behave in the same way as the female one, even while the sexual hormones are not yet appearing. Just simply, because the genes of chromosome X don’t show up in the same way for a woman, because she has two chromosomes X, while a man has only one. Also because le gene designated by the chromosome Y are only present for a male individual, and this all his life long.

However, the biological basis for those differences are still widely unknown, because they are concerning socio-cultural reflexions and confined to hormonal effects.

The role of the sexual chromosomes X and Y have therefore to be taken into account in the same way as the hormones and the socio-cultural influences by taking account of these differences.

An increasing number of studies are describing nowadays the basic mechanisms, but the large field of environmental, nutritional and societal influences have still to be deciphered. For most of the time, a single sex is studied on, the progression of diseases do not match and are different for women and for men.

This new specific and innovative research will become a significant progress in medicine. Indeed, thanks to a better comprehension of the regulating mechanisms of the feminine sex, this is also a strategy for improving the treatment of a cardio-vascular disease of a woman, which is now possible.

The future challenge, the challenge for this Research Programme, is therefore to explain what makes the differences between men and women, tissue by tissue, so that new therapies are being developed.