Columbia University Medical Center

Conference Addresses The Impact Of Gender On Patient Care In The New Millennium

Top Researchers See Gender as Key Factor in Understanding and Treating Disease
NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 26-27, 2000 — The Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University, dedicated to advancing the study and practical use of the differences in the normal physiology of men and women and how each sex experiences disease, will hold its Second Annual Conference on Gender-Specific Medicine on Oct. 26-27 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The conference will focus on the impact of gender on patient care in the new millennium. Topics include gender-specific aspects of metabolic diseases, pediatrics, cardiovascular health, dermatology, the central nervous system, osteoporosis, gender and pharmacology, gender and hormones, gastroenterology, rheumatology, and urology.
“Our annual conference is the best way for us to communicate gender-specific knowledge to primary care physicians and the health care community,” says Dr. Marianne Legato, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and founder and director of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University. “There are widespread differences between women and men in every system of the body–neither is the weaker sex–and understanding these distinctions will benefit all of us.”
Researchers from universities and medical schools across the country will offer in-depth discussions on gender as it relates to various systems in the body. Lectures include the Impact of Diabetes on Reproduction, Gender-Specific Medicine in Pediatrics, The Framingham Study: Historical Insights on the Impact of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Men vs. Women, the Present Status of Hormone Replacement Therapy in the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease, Gender Differences in Hair Loss, Hormones and the Skin, Gender and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Differing Drug Responses in Males and Females, Gender-Specific Aspects of Osteoporosis, the Role of Testosterone in Men and Women, Reproductive-related Mood Disorders and Menopause Management, a panel discussion on Self-esteem in Young Women, and Gender and Dietary Influences on Drug Clearance.
“The information presented at this conference is vitally important for health care providers to understand, so that more effective treatment strategies for men and women can be designed,” says Dr. Legato. “A good example is the Framingham Study – physicians and health care providers need to be aware of the prevalence and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women, so that they can better inform and treat their patients.”
William B. Kannel, M.D. will present “The Framingham Study: Historical Insights on the Impact of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Men Vs. Women.” Dr. Kannel, professor of medicine and public health and former Chief of the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine, became the second director of the Boston University/ Framingham Heart Study in 1966, having been associated with the study since its inception in 1949. The Framingham Study has over five decades investigated the evolution of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a general population sample of men and women and has provided valuable insights about the prevalence, incidence, prognosis, and predisposing risk factors for CVD in women compared to men. Women were found to outlive men and experience fewer atherosclerotic CVD events, lagging men in incidence by 10-20 years. However, this gap in incidence closed with advancing age and in the elderly CVD became the leading cause of death in women as well as men.
Researchers from institutions including Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Washington University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, University of Miami at Oxford, St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, University of California, San Francisco, and Yale School of Medicine will address the conference. Michael R. Rosen, M.D., and John P. Bilezikian, M.D., both faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and associate directors of the Partnership, join Dr. Legato as conference co-directors.
The Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University was founded in 1997. Its gender-specific research addresses why certain diseases are more prevalent in women, why the risk factors, clinical course and outcome of the same disease may be different in men and women, and how drugs are processed differently by the two sexes. The Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University is a unique collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector and is devoted to the science of how human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differ as a function of gender. For more information, visit the Partnership’s website at http://partnership.hs.columbia.edu.
The Second Annual Conference on Gender-Specific Medicine is partially underwritten by unrestricted educational grants from Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, and Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. Additional support is being provided by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, the Bayer Corporation, KOS Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc., and UNIMED Pharmaceuticals. Category 1 CME credits are available.

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