Joint Action


Sex and gender differences in osteoarthritis with Dr Melissa Laitner

Season 2, Ep. 4

Osteoarthritis places a large burden on the individuals that are affected as well is to society as a whole. It is important to reflect that that burden is not distributed equally. The prevalence of osteoarthritis is higher amongst women compared to men. Women also experience higher rates of disease severity and disability. In an effort to better understand these disparities with the overarching focus being to improve health outcomes for all it is important to understand the influence of sex and gender differences in osteoarthritis research and clinical care.

Melissa Laitner, PhD, MPH is Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the Society for Women’s Health Research, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit with a goal of improving health care for women through science, policy, and education. At SWHR, Laitner manages all regulatory and legislative efforts, transforming the work of SWHR’s scientific experts into tangible, evidence-based policy recommendations. Prior to joining SWHR, Laitner worked as an American Association for the Advancement of Science health policy fellow in the office of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). In this role, she worked on a wide-ranging portfolio with an emphasis on matters related to CMS, FDA, prescription drugs, mental health, and topics relevant to health care transparency, costs, and coverage. Before entering the policy field, Laitner worked as a clinical health psychologist at a large academic medical center. She remains a licensed clinical psychologist in the District of Columbia.


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