School of Medicine

Overview

The primary goal of the University of Utah’s Women’s Reproductive, Heart, and Brain Health - W♥MB initiative is to better understand how a woman’s early and mid-life reproductive health is connected to her later heart and brain health. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, with 1 in 3 women dying from heart disease and stroke.1 Women are also disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, with lifetime risk being 1 in 5 for women compared to 1 in 10 for men.2 Studies show that women’s longer life span only partially explains this risk difference. Variation in exposures throughout the life course also contribute, including a women’s menstrual cycle function, ability to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy, and menopausal transition experience. Our initiative includes research, community engagement, and education.

(1.) Xu J, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Bastian B, Arias E. Deaths: Final Data for 2016. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2018 Jul;67(5):1-76.

(2.) Chêne G, Beiser A, Au R, et al. Gender and incidence of dementia in the Framingham Heart Study from mid-adult life. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11(3):310-320. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2013.10.005

Community Engagement