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International Symposium Increases Knowledge About Menopause (PR Newswire)...evidence was presented and discussed on the role of the two receptors of estrogens alpha and beta and the distribution of these receptors in human tissues (brain, CV system, and liver, in addition to sexual organs).......they also seek information on how to prevent major causes of death and disability such as heart disease and stroke, breast and colorectal cancer, osteoporotic fractures and loss of cognitive abilities....- May 24 2:22 PM ET


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Posted on: 05/24/2001

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Thursday May 24, 2:22 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation

International Symposium Increases Knowledge About Menopause

WASHINGTON, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 800 health professionals from 59 countries attended The IV International Symposium on Women's Health and Menopause in Washington, DC this week.

This meeting was the fourth in a series that began in 1993 in Italy with the aim of gathering and presenting new knowledge in the area of Women's Health, Menopause and postmenopausal conditions and diseases. Follow-up meetings were held in Italy in 1996 and 1998. This meeting was the first to be held outside Europe.

The international conference was co-sponsored by the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation, an international medical not-for-profit organization based in Milan, Italy and Houston, Texas; the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI, NIAMS, NIA, ORWH); and the North American Menopause Society.

Prof Rodolfo Paoletti, President of the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation identified the following goals for the meeting series:

    * Reveal cutting-edge information on the most recent basic and clinical
      research

    * Share new data with scientists and clinicians from different countries
      in order to establish a common understanding of Menopause and its
      approaches under different cultural conditions

    * Discuss new strategies for prevention and control of health problems in
      menopausal and post-menopausal women

During the symposium, evidence was presented and discussed on the role of the two receptors of estrogens alpha and beta and the distribution of these receptors in human tissues (brain, CV system, and liver, in addition to sexual organs). The development of highly specific new drugs was also widely discussed in sessions devoted to prevention and therapy of diseases associated with Menopause. The few data available from other countries confirm what has already been observed in the United States.

The importance of studying Menopause has grown steadily over the past decade, as advances in medical science have contributed to longer life expectancies: women now live about one-third of their lives after menopause.

In the United States alone, recent data indicate that women over age 50 make up approximately 14 percent of the population (38 million) and that 75 percent of these women may experience adverse symptoms at Menopause. Many of these women have questions about hormone replacement therapy, alternative therapies and the role of physical fitness and diet on their menopausal or postmenopausal health.

As women grow older, they also seek information on how to prevent major causes of death and disability such as heart disease and stroke, breast and colorectal cancer, osteoporotic fractures and loss of cognitive abilities. Each year, these diseases claim thousands of victims nationwide:

    * Heart disease kills more than 370,000 women every year.

    * Approximately half a million women suffer from heart attacks each year.

    * Breast cancer kills 46,000 women each year and colorectal cancer, the
      third leading cancer cause of death, kills at least 20,000 women each
      year.

    * Nationwide, 28 million people suffer from osteoporosis, 80% of whom are
      older women. In fact, Osteoporosis accounts for 1.5 million fractures
      every year, including more than 300,000 hip fractures.

"As the population of older women continues to grow, it becomes even more important for research to increase the scientific knowledge that allows physicians and other health care providers to respond to questions women have about their health and to construct strategies that can optimize the health status of postmenopausal women," said Dr. Vivian Pinn, Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health of the National Institutes of Health.

The next international Symposium will be held in Florence, Italy in spring 2004. Until then, an Internet program will sustain the international scientific and educational effort.

SOURCE: Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation

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