Press Release

Endocrine Society Strengthens Sex-Difference Reporting Requirements for Scholarly Journals

December 04, 2014

Policies will help illuminate hormone health differences between men, women

Washington, DC—To advance scientific understanding of how hormone disorders can affect men and women differently, the Endocrine Society has introduced policies to improve reporting of the sex of research subjects in its journals.

Authors submitting original research papers to the Society’s scholarly journals are now required to disclose the sex of human and animal research subjects. In cases where researchers are studying human cells, authors will be asked to indicate the sex of the cell lines.

“Science shows us that biological differences between men and women can affect how they respond to illnesses and treatments,” said Endocrine Society President Richard J. Santen, MD. “With its new policies, the Endocrine Society is leading the way in encouraging scientists to more fully explore the implications of sex differences in health and biomedical research.”

The policies apply to all original research journals published by the Society:

  • The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) is the world's leading peer-reviewed journal of clinical practice and applied clinical research.
  • Endocrinology publishes 6,000 pages annually of the highest quality original work, including subcellular mechanisms and whole animal physiology.
  • Molecular Endocrinology publishes research devoted to describing molecular mechanisms by which hormones and related compounds regulate function.
  • Hormones and Cancer is a multidisciplinary translational journal that features basic scientific, epidemiological, pre-clinical and clinical research papers in the field of hormones and cancer.

As part of the journals’ submission process, scientists will be asked whether sex differences were considered as part of the analysis. The new policies build on requirements Endocrinology implemented in 2012.

Many preclinical research studies fail to appropriately incorporate information on the sex of cell lines and research subjects, with potentially harmful consequences for patients. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration halved the recommended dose of the sleep drug Ambien for women in 2013. Science revealed that women metabolized the drug differently than men and could be at risk for impaired driving because their bodies eliminated the drug more slowly.

The Society has advocated for federal initiatives to balance the use of male and female cells and animals in preclinical research examining conditions that affect both sexes. Addressing the issue earlier in the research pipeline could lead to improvements in the design of clinical studies that provide evidence for hormone disorder treatments. In September, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it had invested an additional $10.1 million in supplemental funding for 82 grantees to explore the effects of sex in preclinical and clinical research.

“We are pleased to see progress being made in this arena,” Santen said. “Sex is an important variable that needs to be considered in basic science as well as clinical research."

About Endocrine Society

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses, and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

Media Contacts

Colleen Williams Senior Communications Manager, Public Relations Phone: (202)-971-3611 [email protected]

Jenni Glenn Gingery Director, Communications and Media Relations Phone: (202)-971-3655 [email protected]

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