Week in Review: Aug. 3

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Gender Inequality Still Plagues the Health Care Industry. Women Are Fed up

Women are essential stakeholders in health care, serving as workers, caregivers, and consumers—yet we do not have an equal voice in its leadership. The facts are overwhelmingly dismal. The percentage of women on Fortune 500 health care executive teams and boards has been nearly flat since 2015, hovering around 22 percent. Another number that hasn’t budged: Only one-third of hospital executives are women. There’s also been little change in the startup world, with women accounting for less than 12% of digital health CEOs and venture capital partners. Things just aren’t moving fast enough. Via STAT.

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FDA Cracks Down on "Vaginal Rejuvenation" Devices, Citing Potential for Serious Harm

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on devices marketed for use in “vaginal rejuvenation.” In a statement issued, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said a growing number of manufacturers are marketing “vaginal rejuvenation” devices. Some manufacturers claim the devices can treat symptoms of menopause, problems with sexual function, and urinary incontinence. The FDA said those claims aren’t supported by scientific evidence—and warns the products could pose serious risks to women’s health. “We are deeply concerned women are being harmed,” Gottlieb said. Via STAT.

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Do 5-Minute Workouts Really Work?

Michael Joyner, M.D., an exercise researcher at the Mayo Clinic, agrees that short bursts of intense calisthenic exercise can go a long way toward getting fit. “A 5- to 10-minute workout, if done consistently, coupled with building as much cardio into your daily life by doing things like walking the dog and taking the stairs every chance you get, can all add up to get you in shape. Maybe not in enough shape to do the Iron Man, but definitely in shape,” says Dr. Joyner. He says the simple act of contracting your muscles can help improve insulin sensitivity and improve heart function. “When your heart rate rises and blood pumps through heart vessels to your muscles, the blood flowing through vessels literally rubs against the lining of the blood vessels. This causes the cells that line the blood vessels to release substances that promote both short and long-term relaxation of the vessels and inhibits the formation of plaques. This is good for heart health and protective against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (artery hardening),” Joyner explains. Via NBC News.

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Dieters Beware: You May Be Undercounting Calories, New Report Finds

A new report finds consumers were, on average, 110 calories off in their estimates of 40 popular meals and snacks. While nutritionists in the report from survey and research firm Morning Consult says consumers were actually pretty good in their ballpark guesses, underestimating calories over the course of several meals could have negative impacts on overall health, said Jason Ewoldt, a wellness dietitian at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. The estimation “is close, but if we do it (misestimate) consistently, weight gain is going to happen,” Ewoldt said. Via USA Today.

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How the Medical Community Is Working to Prevent Suicides

Around the United States, suicide rates are on the rise. In Minnesota alone, the rate increased 40.6% between 1999 and 2016, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So what are medical professionals doing to prevent suicides? MPR News host Cathy Wurzer spoke with J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., to learn more. He's a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic who specializes in the study of suicide. Via MPR.

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Mayo Clinic News

The Secret to a Thinner, Happier, Healthier You: Build a Better Gut

At the Mayo Clinic's microbiome lab in Rochester, Minnesota, scientists examine human feces to find out exactly which bacteria are in a patient's gut, how much of it is there, and which bacteria may be missing. Microbiome researcher Purna Kashyap, M.B.B.S., and his team found more than a thousand different species in the intestines of the healthiest people. It's an important discovery because 80% of our immune system resides there. "All of our guts have different kinds of bacteria and the more different kinds of bacteria we have, the more diverse. And the less different kinds of bacteria we have the less diverse," Dr. Kashyap explained. "And so if you can imagine, the more different kinds of bacteria—that's generally considered to be good for us because they will be able to tackle intruders much better than if you have less different kinds of bacteria." Via CBN News.

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Regular Sauna Users May Have Fewer Chronic Diseases

People who visit the sauna frequently may be less likely to develop heart and lung diseases or to get the flu than those who rarely go, a research review suggests. Past studies on the health benefits of saunas have yielded mixed results because they focused on many different types of sauna and were too small or brief to assess long-term health outcomes from routine use, the authors note in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Via Reuters.

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Mayo Clinic Study: Opioid Prescriptions Rates Haven't Declined

Opioid addiction and prescription abuse have made headlines in recent years, but a new study by Mayo Clinic found opioid prescription rates haven't declined. Over the past several years, they’ve stayed more or less the same. "We have not seen very much change in about the last 5 years in what proportion of people are taking opioids,” said Molly Jeffery, Ph.D., co-author of a new Mayo Clinic-led study on opioid prescriptions. “Given the amount of attention since say 2014 or 2015 it’s surprising that were not yet seeing declines in the proportion of people using opioids,” she said. Via KAAL.

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When to Use and Not Use Antibiotics

For parents and caregivers, it can be hard to tell whether your child’s illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it’s important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.