First international conference on women and blindness

s model strategies to help us in our fight against blindness in women," says Gipson.

In "Gender and Blindness" Paul Courtright, DrPH -- a lead investigator of the meta-analysis, an epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia and the leader of a gender-oriented outreach program at the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology in Moshi, Tanzania -- will focus on women and blindness in the third world. He will describe the results of his studies that suggest that attitudes and beliefs held by men in these societies are contributing to blindness in women. Men in some cultures, he has found, believe that medical care for their wives is not as important as it is for themselves as heads of households. He will describe creative educational programs that target men to convince them that visually healthy wives can be more productive family members.

"Major Concerns in Women's Health," will be the topic of a presentation by Julie E. Buring, DSC, a professor of ambulatory care and prevention at Harvard Medical School and the principal investigator of the Women's Health Study at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She will talk about vision health issues in the context of all the major health concerns facing women. For instance, she will point out that lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women, and that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women as well as men. She will also describe the risk factors for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which are the same risk factors for eye disease--poor dietary habits, smoking and other lifestyle issues.

In "Sex Steroid Hormones and Eye Disease," Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH, an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, will describe her landmark studies that indicate a strong relationship between the use of hormone replacement therapy and dry eye syndro

Contact: Patti Jacobs
Schepens Eye Research Institute

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