Women’s Health & You Aims to Improve Women's Health Through Research

Ann Coker PhD
Ann Coker PhD

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2017) — Health conditions and medications affect women’s bodies differently than men’s, so it’s important that we understand the specifics of women’s health. Heart attacks often present differently in women than men, for example. And we’re learning that medication, such as the common sleep aid Ambien, is metabolized in women’s bodies differently than in men, meaning that women and men need different doses.

In recognition of National Women’s Health Week, May 14-20, the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science announced the launch of Women’s Health & You for all women in Kentucky who are at least 18 years old. Women’s Health & You (WHY) is the new name for the Kentucky Women’s Health Registry. While the name has changed, the mission remains the same – improving women’s health through research. WHY provides women the opportunity to help reduce the gap for women in medical research by responding to survey about their health. Participants also receive information on health issues and research opportunities of interest to them. Since 2006, more than 17,000 women across Kentucky have joined.

As a co-founder of WHY, I encourage women to make good health an ongoing priority. We are offering new memberships in WHY as a way for women to actively engage in their own health and help researchers learn more about the specifics of women’s health over time. 

Dr. Heather Bush, a UK biostatistician and WHY co-founder, emphasizes that the program incorporates many aspects of women’s well-being throughout the lifespan.

“It’s not just about physical health, but how life experiences influence our wellbeing across our lifespan. Our health changes over time and by domains including physical, emotional, social, sexual and intellectual health. WHY is unique in measuring changes in health over time and across this range of health domains.”

Becoming a member of Women’s Health & You (WHY) is simple. Initial participation takes only 5-10 minutes to complete a confidential electronic survey and become a part of a group of women who are changing the way we approach the female-centric health issues.

To see how membership in WHY changed one woman’s life and help, visit

If you have any questions, please call 859-218-4869 or email us at

Ann L. Coker, PhD, MPH, serves as the Endowed Chair of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women and a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the UK College of Medicine.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue