Week in Review: Oct. 19

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

What Do Astronauts and One in Five Women Have in Common?

An intriguing element of this research is that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) also tend to have higher than average concentrations of homocysteine and circulatory issues similar to those detected in male astronauts with eye problems. PCOS affects how women's ovaries work. It is the leading cause of fertility problems and is thought to affect up to 20% of all women. This condition isn't well understood, and at present, there is no cure. But it is possible that, as they share a similar blood chemistry, women with PCOS may also benefit from additional B vitamins. Via BBC.

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How Medical Schools Are Battling Stereotypes about Elderly Patients

Medical schools across the U.S. are implementing programs to introduce students to healthy, active elders in an effort to ensure medical students have an accurate perception of these patients, according to The New York Times. Via Becker's Hospital Review.

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Dozens Sickened in Salmonella Outbreak Tied to Raw Chicken

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports  that 92 people from 29 states have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken. Twenty-one people were sick enough that they had to be hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. The CDC has not identified a common source of contaminated chicken. Rather, it says there's evidence that many types of raw-chicken products from a variety of sources contain the strain known as salmonella infantis that is making people ill. Testing revealed that the salmonella strain involved in the outbreak is resistant to many types of antibiotics. Investigators have identified the outbreak strain in raw-chicken pet food, raw-chicken products, and live chickens, indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry. Via CBS News.

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These Countries May Soon Have the Highest Life Expectancies

New research forecasts future life expectancies in 195 countries and territories around the world, and the results for the United States are pretty grim. In 2016, the U.S. ranked 43rd in the world, with an average lifespan of 78.7 years. By 2040, Americans' life expectancy is forecast to increase, but only by 1.1 years to 79.8. This causes the U.S. to plummet in rank to 64th. Via CBS News.

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With Genome Sequencing, Some Sick Infants Are Getting a Shot at Healthy Lives

When babies become intensely ill, it can be difficult to know what has gone wrong. But the answer, quite often, is hidden somewhere in their genes. Whole-genome sequencing—in which scientists can read the nearly 3 billion chemical letters in DNA—can help turn up that answer. And scientists, increasingly, are laying out a case for using that tool in an intensive care setting, despite the upfront costs. Via STAT News.

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Mayo Clinic News

Five Mayo Clinic Sites Receive Patient-Care Award

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranked first among academic medical centers for patient care, according to the Vizient 2018 Bernard A. Birnbaum, M.D., Quality Leadership Awards. Five Mayo locations received awards. Mayo Clinic Health Care System in Red Wing ranked second among community hospitals, and Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, ranked eighth among teaching medical centers. This is the third year in which the Red Wing location has ranked among the top three in its category. The Jacksonville, Florida, campus ranked third among academic medical centers, and the Arizona campus ranked sixth. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Multiple Myeloma Subtypes Linked to Patients' African Ancestry

A team led by researchers at the Mayo Clinic has delved into the genetic contributors to multiple myeloma risk in individuals with varying levels of African and European ancestry. "Our findings provide important information that will help us determine the mechanism by which myeloma is more common in African Americans, as well as help us in our quest to find out what causes myeloma in the first place," corresponding author S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D., a hematology researcher at Mayo Clinic, said in a statement. For a study published in the Blood Cancer Journal, Dr. Rajkumar and colleagues from Mayo Clinic, the University of Sheffield, and genetic testing lab DNA Diagnostics Center performed cytogenetic analyses, genotyping, and genetic ancestry profiling on samples from 881 individuals with monoclonal gammopathy—a set of blood plasma cell neoplasms ranging from non-cancerous conditions that increase myeloma risk, such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance to multiple myeloma itself. Via GenomeWeb.

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The Importance of Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer

Kathryn Ruddy, M.D., Associate Professor of Oncology at Mayo Clinic, discusses how genetic testing could impact treatment of patients with breast cancer. According to Dr. Ruddy, it’s important to perform genetic testing for genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have already been determined to play a role in care of women with strong family history of breast cancer or patients diagnosed at a younger age. Via OncLive.

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What to Know about Antibiotic Resistance

While overprescribing plays a large and undeniable role in antibiotic resistance, doctors say they don’t deserve all the blame. “The human body is a very complicated system,” says Audrey Schuetz, M.D., Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and Co-Director of Bacteriology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Patient disease symptoms can be nonspecific, and it can sometimes be difficult for doctors to know whether a disease is due to bacteria or not. Doctors may not know because of limitations in diagnostic tests currently available, or the patient may have several issues going on at once, which confuses the picture.” Via Paper Gown.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Why You Need Your Flu Shot Now

Every year, millions of people in the U.S. contract the flu. Many people recover from the illness, but some require hospitalizations. And, unfortunately, every year some people die of flu-related complications. Tina Ardon, M.D., a Mayo Clinic family medicine specialist in Florida, says the flu vaccine is the best defense against seasonal flu, and everyone who is able to get one should do so. 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.