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.
Scientists Identify Genes Tied to Left-Handedness
For the first time, scientists have found four spots on your DNA that might determine whether you wield your pen with your left hand. Of the four gene regions, three are associated with proteins involved in brain development and structure, according to a genetic analysis of about 400,000 people in the United Kingdom, including more than 38,000 left-handers. The study also found that "in left-handed participants, the language areas of the left and right sides of the brain communicate with each other in a more coordinated way," said Dr. Akira Wiberg, a University of Oxford medical research fellow who did the analysis. Via UPI.
What We Know About the Mysterious Vaping-Linked Disease and Deaths
Health officials, lawmakers and parents have been raising alarms about vaping for a couple of years, warning that products touted as healthier alternatives for smokers are instead drawing in young people with fun flavors and slick marketing. But the caution has taken on new urgency in recent weeks as authorities scramble to understand a rash of mysterious vaping-linked illnesses that have put healthy people in the hospital with serious lung diseases. On Tuesday, authorities announced a sixth death connected to e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that can look like flash drives and pens and that mimic smoking by heating liquids containing substances such as nicotine and marijuana. Via Washington Post.
Mayo Clinic News
Google, Mayo Clinic Strike Sweeping Partnership on Patient Data
Mayo Clinic, one of medicine’s most prestigious brands, announced Tuesday that it has struck a sweeping partnership with Google to store patient data in the cloud and build products using artificial intelligence and other technologies to improve care. The 10-year partnership is a testament to Google’s expanding role in the U.S. health care system and gives Mayo greater access to the engineering talent and computing resources it needs to embed its expertise in algorithms and commercial devices. Google said it will open a new office in Rochester, a city whose economy, and very identity, is inextricably linked with Mayo, which invented the medical record more than a century ago and is now seeking to mine its data for new insights into patient care. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Via STAT.
The 3 Causes Of Physician Burnout (and Why There’s No Simple Solution)
Burnout is a big and burgeoning problem in the United States. According to a recent Mayo Clinic report, it affects 28% of the general working population. Among physicians, however, the rate is markedly higher, ranging from 44% to 54% in most studies. More concerning are the consequences: Doctors who report burnout symptoms are twice as likely to commit a medical error. They’re also twice as likely as their patients to commit suicide. Via Forbes.
What to Know About Diabetes and Risks of Low Blood Sugar, Hypoglycemia
A recent study by the Mayo Clinic estimated about 20 percent of diabetes patients are treated too intensively with medicines or insulin, which led to thousands of hospital visits for hypoglycemia. “This is a big problem ... and it’s been around for many years now and unfortunately the number [of cases] hasn’t budged much in the past ten years,” Rozalina McCoy, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic and co-author of the new study, told TODAY. McCoy and her team at the Mayo Clinic noticed the concerning trend and wanted to find out more. They examined data from more than 10.2 million people with diabetes between 2011 and 2014 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the OptumLabs Data Warehouse and found about 2.3 million had likely been overtreated Via Today.