Women’s health and menopause has been an expanding field of medical practice and scientific investigation in the past decade. Today, most women live long enough to become postmenopausal. After many years of international and multidisciplinary panels and conferences in this area, the Foundation’s work made history when it coordinated a monumental publication monograph, based on extensive international review and evaluation of the scientific evidence. The International Position Paper on Women’s Health and Menopause, published by the NIH is the culmination of this work. It was the representation of 7 years of cooperation between the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Science Foundation (Milan, Italy and Houston, TX) in a public/private partnership in the development and co-sponsorship of four international conferences on Women’s Health and Menopause since the mid-1990s. The first three conferences were held in Italy, and the later ones were held in Washington, DC. The last two conferences were also co-sponsored by the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The work done in this area brought to the forefront, for the first time, the importance of looking at women’s health issues from an interdisciplinary perspective where, not only cancer and osteoporosis, in women, but also other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease, were also considered in looking at the total patient.
Very importantly, this work informed about the misleading knowledge, up until then, of the use of hormone replacement therapy and the potential negative impact that such therapies posed.
This activity also represents an effective basis for the study and evaluation of gender differences, including gender, age, ethnic and geographic areas.