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 Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.
Study: Millions Should Stop Taking Aspirin Every Day to Prevent Heart Attacks
Harvard researchers are advising millions of people who take aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks to stop their daily use. Some 29 million people 40 and older were taking an aspirin a day in 2017 despite not having a heart disease, the study published Monday found. The study also found that about 6.6 million of them were using aspirin on their own even though a doctor never recommended it to them. And nearly 10 million people over 70 who don’t have heart disease were taking daily aspirin for prevention, the researchers reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. The discovery comes after multiple, extensive studies last year found that only a marginal benefit, if any, could be found when taking routine aspirin—especially among older adults. Via USA Today.
Study: Boys Are Hitting Puberty Earlier, Partially Due to Rise in BMI
Girls aren't alone in hitting puberty earlier—boys are, too, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics. And boys' body mass index as children might play a role. Researchers looked through school health records and assessed trends in height and growth for 4,090 boys born in Sweden from 1947 to 1996. Boys born later in that 50-year time period hit puberty sooner. For every decade born later, boys reached peak height velocity, or PHV—the study's marker for puberty—1.5 months earlier. The age at PHV became progressively younger for boys born later, dropping from about 14.2 years in 1947 to 13.7 years in 1996. Via CNN.
Mayo Clinic News
Mayo's Next Maestro
As a young physician, Gianrico Farrugia admired Mayo Clinic’s Plummer Building, a historic landmark with massive bronze doors and a soaring bell tower that projects the enduring prestige of the clinic. His reverence, however, didn’t extend to its very peak. The top, he noticed in the late 1980s, “had this really ugly aluminum cylinder.” Fifteen years later, as the Plummer Building underwent a major restoration, Farrugia became obsessed with the chance to make a change. He uncovered proof that when the landmark first opened, it was topped with a lantern-shaped cupola—not the metallic cylinder. The photo startled old-timers and helped persuade clinic officials at the last minute to place a recreated cupola at the building’s apex. “Every weekend, I would come into the archives, put on a pair of white gloves, to find the photo,” said Farrugia, who years earlier had heard a tour guide mention the cupola. “One of my characteristics is I file things, and I bring them up at the right time.” Farrugia is now bringing the same approach to the top of the entire Mayo organization. Via Star Tribune.
Avoiding Heat Stroke and Exhaustion as Higher Temperature Warnings Loom
While still worth paying attention to, heat cramps are lowest on the CDC’s list of heat-related illnesses (aside from sunburn and heat rash). Heat cramps often happen during physical activity, and cause extreme sweating and pain. Venkatesh Bellamkonda, M.D., an Emergency Medicine Specialist and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Mayo Clinic tells Yahoo Lifestyle that this occurs “when the body is expending too much water, or the electrolytes in the body are out of appropriate balance.” The best way to treat it is to stop physical activity, find shade, and drink lots of water. Via Yahoo.
Computer Use Found to Reduce Cognitive Decline Risk
The study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), also shows the more activities an elderly person engages, the lower risk for developing MCI. "Our study took a close look at how often people participated in mentally stimulating activities in both middle age and later life, with a goal of examining when such activities may be most beneficial to the brain," said study author Dr. Yonas E. Geda of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an AAN member. Via Medical Daily.