Women Underrepresented Within CV Clinical Trial Leadership Roles

The underrepresentation of women in cardiovascular clinical trial leadership was highlighted in a research letter published Aug. 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kara J. Denby, MD, et al., sought to describe representation of women within leadership committees of cardiovascular clinical trials and in lead authorship positions of ensuing trial publications. The authors examined data from 200 clinical trial results published in JAMA, The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2018.

Of the 2,433 committee members from the 200 trials studied, 270 (11.1%)were women. Women represented a median of 10.1% of committees, and a mean of 5.4% to 6.3% of leadership committees. Of the 200 trials, 83 (41.5%) had no female investigators, 111 (55.5%) had no female physicians on their leadership committees and only 19 had leadership committees made up of more than 25% women. Women accounted for only 18.5 of 200 (9.3%) first authors and 20 (10%) last authors.

"Our findings provide additional evidence of gender disparities in scientific leadership," write the authors of the study. "Prior research suggests that research teams with gender heterogeneity may produce higher quality research. Greater visibility of women in clinical trial leaderships positions can enhance recruitment of female trial participants and attract more female investigators to cardiovascular clinical research."

Keywords: Female, Authorship, Committee Membership, Leadership, Physicians, Women, Publications, Writing, Internal Medicine

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