Please note: This archive was last updated in 2005.

RHO archives : Topics : Older Women


Updated November 30, 2004

The annotated links on this page are organized under the following categories:

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Population aging

AARP: AgeSource Worldwide
This database describes information resources on aging from around the world. It includes clearinghouses, databases, libraries, directories, statistical resources, bibliographies and reading lists, texts, and Web "metasites” focusing on aging or closely allied subjects. Topics covered range from Alzheimer disease to wills and estate planning. More than 25 countries are represented, including some developing countries. The database can be searched in English, French, or Spanish; by subject, country or region of the world; or type and language of the information resource.

Eldis Ageing Populations Resource Guide
Based at the Institute of Development Studies, ELDIS is a gateway to information on a variety of development issues. Its Resource Guide on ageing populations provides summaries and links to online documents, a directory of relevant websites, a news service, training opportunities, and conferences.

HelpAge International
A global network of members and partner organizations, HelpAge International works in over 70 countries to improve the lives of disadvantaged older people. HelpAge is engaged in policy, research, advocacy, and program activities and addresses a variety of issues, including discrimination, poverty, health, and abuse. Available at this site are two newsletters (Ageing and Development and Ageways), a package of ageing and gender briefs, and other useful publications.

Second World Assembly on Ageing
Held in August 2002 in Madrid, the Second World Assembly on Ageing produced an International Plan of Action with three priorities: integrating older persons into development efforts; advancing health and well-being into old age; and ensuring enabling and supportive environments. Press releases, speeches, and other documents from the Madrid conference are available at this site, along with the plan of action.

United Nations Programme on Ageing
This UN program describes demographic changes underway around the world and explores their implications for society. From this website, users can access the plan of action created by the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid 2002, a research agenda, and policy documents on ageing. There is also a database on national and international policies and programs on ageing, which is intended to stimulate action on policy development.

University of Michigan: Population Studies Center
and Center on the Demography of Aging
While based in the United States, these two programs conduct considerable international as well as domestic population research. Of special interest are studies on the impact of AIDS on older persons in Thailand ( and on aging and health in Asia ( Also available is a searchable database of publications ( that includes many abstracts and complete papers online.

Valencia Forum on Research and Ageing
The Valencia Forum, held in April 2002, provided a voice for researchers, educators and providers at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid. This site includes the full text of the Valencia Forum Report and keynote papers, a research agenda on aging for the 21st century, a searchable database of abstracts from hundreds of presentations, and post-forum discussion boards.

World Health Organization (WHO): Ageing & Life Course Programme
On World Health Day in 1999, WHO launched a global movement for active aging, with the goal of maximizing opportunities for mental, physical, and social well-being throughout the life span. A WHO pamphlet (, which is available in English, French, and Spanish, explores common myths about older people and outlines the policy and individual actions that need to be taken to promote quality of life at older ages. WHO also has issued a fact sheet on women, aging, and health (, which explores the economic, social, political, and cultural determinants of women's health as they age and suggests a gender-sensitive life course approach to older women's health.

WHO Kobe Centre: Ageing and Health
One of the major focuses of the WHO Kobe Centre is aging and health. The Centre brings together researchers and decision-makers to share information and stimulate evidence-based policy making; it sponsors publications based on the results of these meetings.

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Australasian Menopause Society (AMS)
AMS brings together doctors, nurses, and other health workers for communication and scientific discussion in order to advance knowledge about menopause. AMS sponsors an annual conference. The website provides a host of educational materials both for health workers and for women. WHAM ("What Happens at Menopause") materials include a questionnaire and scorecard for women to assess their symptoms as well as a booklet answering common questions about menopause. Two extremely useful pamphlets designed for general practitioners provide practical advice on how to manage menopausal patients. More online educational resources, including training tutorial and presentation set, are available to members for a fee.

European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS)
The EMAS website is divided into sections for healthcare professionals, consumers, and the media. It contains a wealth of information on perimenopause, early menopause, menopause symptoms, long-term health effects of estrogen loss, and a wide variety of therapies to enhance health. Healthcare professionals can find news, articles, educational materials, conference listings, and web resources.

International Menopause Society (IMS)
This nonprofit medical association organizes conferences, symposia, and workshops and publishes a quarterly newsletter and the journal Climacteric. It also provides a voice for physicians and other health workers around the world through the Council of Affiliated Menopause Societies (CAMS). CAMS currently is sponsoring projects to develop best practice guidelines for the management of menopausal women and to promote academic education in menopause medicine. The site includes links to CAMS members and other websites, conference listings, and a recently produced glossary of terms.

Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
The Institute was established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to promote the study and reporting of women's health issues at the interface of medicine and the social sciences. In 2000, the Institute published Guidelines for Counseling Women on the Management of Menopause (, which were developed by a panel of health experts. The guidelines are designed to help health workers provide comprehensive counseling to women about managing menopause, so that women can make informed choices. In addition to reviewing the facts about menopause, the guidelines include suggestions for counseling, resources for women and clinicians, and references.

Medscape Resource Center on Menopause
This resource center gathers together medical news, conference summaries, articles, treatment updates, clinical management modules, practice guidelines, and links to professional organizations.

Menopause Online
A commercial site maintained by obstetricians and gynecologists, Menopause Online helps women choose appropriate therapies and treatments to get them through menopause. The site covers both traditional and alternative therapies, describes breaking news and relevant scientific studies, includes a glossary and links to other organizations, hosts an interactive bulletin board and chat room, and sells books.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
A research arm of the U.S. Public Health Service, the NIH hosts several websites related to aging and menopause. The National Institute on Aging has established 11 centers on the Demography of Aging to provide policy-relevant research on health, social factors, economics, and other factors affected older people ( The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse has posted an article on Menopause and Bladder Control (, which connects to other information about bladder control for women. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is sponsoring the Women's Health Initiative (, an ongoing clinical trial to test the impact of hormone replacement therapy, dietary patterns, and calcium and Vitamin D supplements on the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. An ancillary study, the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (, is examining the impact of hormone replacement therapy on dementia and cognitive function. Other women's resources can be accessed through the Office of Research on Women's Health (, which helps establish the NIH research agenda and ensures that women are represented in clinical trials and other studies.

North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Both health care professionals and social scientists are members of this multidisciplinary, nonprofit professional organization. NAMS produces educational materials for patients, hosts an annual scientific meeting to review current research findings, publishes a journal and newsletter, and sponsors surveys. Posted at its site are current news stories, basic facts about menopause, FAQs for women, and a list of links to other websites.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
A non-profit reproductive health organization in the United States, Planned Parenthood has posted background information on the signs and symptoms of menopause, osteoporosis, sex and mid-life changes, traditional and alternative therapies, and building a support system. The site also includes a reading list.

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Chronic Illnesses associated with aging

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) for Countries with Limited Resources
BHGI is an international collaboration of leading organizations in the field of breast cancer. Its goal is to improve and standardize breast health care in countries with limited health care resources and infrastructure. BHGI has produced breast health guidelines ( on the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer oriented to countries with limited resources, and it plans to update the guidelines at a biennial conference. BHGI also works to motivate research, cultivate advocacy, and track the implementation of its guidelines in developing countries.

Endometriosis Association
This non-profit self-help organization offers support and help to those affected by endometriosis, educates the public and medical community about the disease, and funds and promotes research related to endometriosis. The Endometriosis Association has groups and members in 66 countries, offers brochures in 28 languages, and posts information online in Spanish as well as English.

International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)
This international, nongovernmental organization seeks to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis worldwide. IOF sponsors research and conferences and advocates for policy change. Their site includes background information and current news on the disease, links to member organizations around the world, and the results of international surveys of women's and physicians' attitudes toward the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Mayo Clinic Women's Health Resource Center
A team of physicians, scientists, and educators from the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit U.S. medical institution, maintains this site, which offers accurate and up-to-date health information to the general public. The Women's Health Resource Center supplies information on a wide array of health issues pertinent to women, including menopause, osteoporosis, and breast and cervical cancer. It is especially strong on information relating to therapies and treatments.

Medscape Resource Center on Osteoporosis
This resource center gathers together medical news, conference summaries, articles, treatment updates, clinical management modules, practice guidelines, and links to professional organizations.

National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC)
A U.S.-based grassroots advocacy organization, NBCC works to implement new models of research on breast cancer, improve access to high quality health services and breast cancer clinical trials, and expand the influence of breast cancer advocates. As part of its international initiative, NBCC has hosted two world conferences on breast cancer advocacy and trains breast cancer advocates around the globe.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
A U.S. government cancer research institute, NCI sponsors a comprehensive cancer information site that serves both physicians and patients. Of special interest are: the Physicians Data Query (PDQ®) (, which contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care; a registry of clinical trials from around the world; and directories of physicians and organizations that provide cancer care. PDQ® cancer information summaries are peer reviewed and updated monthly by six editorial boards comprised of specialists in adult treatment, pediatric treatment, complementary and alternative medicine, supportive care, screening and prevention, and genetics. The editorial boards review current literature from more than 70 biomedical journals, evaluate its relevance, and synthesize it into clear summaries. Many of the summaries are also available in Spanish. Also available from NCI is a breast cancer risk assessment tool ( that allows a health professional to calculate a womans individual risk from invasive breast cancer.
This physician-reviewed site is divided into three sections, for women and patients, medical professionals, and the medical industry. offers up-to-date information on a wide variety of women's health topics, including many issues of interest for older women, such as menopause, osteoporosis, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. It also sponsors forums and chat rooms and lists links to a wide variety of relevant directories, organizations, and publications.

Reach to Recovery: The Breast Cancer Support Network
Reach to Recovery is an umbrella organization for support groups worldwide that seek to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families. Posted online is a set of updates for health professionals on the psycho-social impact of breast cancer and a newsletter describing the activities of affiliates in various countries. Its newsletter, which is posted online, describes the activities of affiliates in various countries.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): Campaign to End Fistula
Preventing fistula is one part of UNFPA’s wider effort to ensure that all women have access to skilled attendance during childbirth and that those who develop complications have access to emergency obstetric care. UNFPA is involved in a wide range of interventions to end fistula, including an awareness-raising campaign directed to individual men and women, communities, policy makers, and health professionals; a working group to collect data and develop strategies; studies to catalog services and needs in high-prevalence countries of Africa and Asia; and technical assistance to improve emergency obstetric care. Publications available online include a series of fact sheets on obstetric fistula, a needs assessment of nine sub-Saharan African countries, and reports on the meetings of the international working group on fistula.

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