XProject: Closing the gap in women’s healthcare

  • It takes an average of 8 years to receive an endometriosis diagnosis in the UK1

  • Lung cancer incidence has risen by 32% in women, but dropped by 34% in men in the UK since the 1990s2

  • The risk of a misdiagnosed heart attack is 50% higher in women compared with men in England and Wales3

  • Men wait on average 3.6 weeks for a heart failure diagnosis, whereas women wait over 20 weeks and women are almost twice as likely to be misdiagnosed than men4

  • 65% of people with dementia are women and dementia has been the leading cause of death for women since 2011, yet women are less likely to be included in clinical trials5

Why X?

For too long, science has placed men in the forefront as the ‘default human’, leaving women overlooked and left behind. As a result, women are faced with inequities in treatment, care and access to healthcare. We need to lean into biological differences to better understand women’s health and account for women’s clinical characteristics and personal needs. It’s time we eliminate cultural and societal barriers that prevent women from getting the care to which they are entitled.

Mission statement
Investigating X

With the support and collaboration of key partners, we are conducting new research to address knowledge gaps in women’s healthcare. To create a future where women will have an equal opportunity to access the right information, the right diagnosis and the right treatment.


We use the terms ‘woman’ and ‘women’ referring to people who biologically have two X chromosomes (XX). However, inclusivity is at the core of XProject, and we recognise that these individuals may not all identify as women. We respect that gender identities are diverse and are striving for an equitable health system for all. 

M-GB-00011748 Date of Preparation March 2023


  1. All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Endometriosis. Endometriosis in the UK: time for change. 2020. Available at:  Last accessed October 2022.

  2. Cancer Research UK. Lung Cancer Statistics. Available at: Last accessed October 2022.

  3. Wu J, Gale C, Hall M, et al. Impact of initial hospital diagnosis on mortality for acute myocardial infarction: A national cohort study. European Heart Journal Acute Cardiovascular Care. 2018;7(2):139–148.

  4. Roche HF. Heart failure: The hidden costs of late diagnosis. 2020. Available at: accessed October 2022. 

  5. Alzheimer's Research UK. Why women are bearing more of the impact of dementia. 2022. Available at: Last accessed October 2022.

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