Western University of Health Sciences Senior Vice President and Provost David Baron, DO, MSEd, presented “Effect of emotional stress and men’s health resulting from COVID-19” Aug. 15, 2020 at an international summit focusing on men’s health.
The 1st Virtual Global Men’s Health Summit and Update Webinars was live streamed in Spanish on Facebook and Instagram and in Spanish and English on Zoom. The theme was “Our Path to the Future of Men’s Health in COVID Times.” Baron also discussed the role of precision medicine in diagnosing and treating stress-related disorders.
“The extant data has documented a global increase in a number of key men’s behavioral health measures, including drug and alcohol consumption, increased reports of anxiety and depression, increased suicide, and increase in domestic violence,” Baron said. “I also discussed the role of genetic biomarkers to assist in identifying at-risk cohorts. My talk highlighted the critical role of educating clinicians and students, using results from our recently completed study at WesternU (MAT Education), and ongoing online education programs being developed at WesternU.”
The summit, which featured speakers from 24 countries and offered in social media and Zoom at no charge, was organized by Dr. Ingrid Perscky Arravanti, president and founder of the Global Men’s Health Foundation. The keynote address was presented by Aaron Ciechanover, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004. He is the director of the Tumor and Vascular Biology Research Center at Technion Institute, Haifa, Israel.
The first half of the summit took place Aug. 15, 2020. The second half will take place Oct. 17. In between, each Saturday will feature webinars on men’s health. On Oct. 17, participating institutions will sign a digital agreement on men’s health in COVID times.
The Global Men’s Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Panama focused on working for men’s health and men’s rights. The foundation held two previous summits. WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, noted international scholar in the field of psychology and the impact of stress on development and behavior, presented at the last summit in 2018, which attracted 800 participants.
“I am pleased that WesternU was able to continue our presence at this important summit calling attention to men’s health,” Wilson said. “The global discussion surrounding the precise health care issues men face is needed now more than ever as we strive to move toward a post-COVID-19 environment.”
“We are the only foundation focusing on men’s health and rights,” said Perscky Arravanti, who has been a urologist for 35 years and was one of the first women urologists in the world. “We have seen through the years the incidence of non-transmissible diseases are three times higher for men than for women. Men live 10 years less than women on average. They are more likely to not see doctors. They are more likely to not take care of their health.”
Men and women are different, from their brains to their hormones, and depression is handled differently, she said. This sometimes results in more negative health and behavioral consequences for men.
“What we do with this group of scientists and physicians is try to project the importance of gender medicine and precision medicine,” Perscky Arravanti said. “Find out what is good for you, and what is good for me. We need to move toward that direction so we can give people the best treatment they can have.”