Week in Review: September 27

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.


Industry News

Chemicals in Tap Water Could Cause 100,000 Cases of Cancer in U.S

Chemicals in the nation's drinking water could result in 100,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. over a lifetime, according to a study released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group. The findings may bolster the argument for investing in protections for U.S. source water, as well as for consumers to use water filters at home, the nonprofit environmental advocacy group said. The vast majority, or 87%, of the more than 100,000 estimated cancer cases linked to drinking tap water are due to byproducts of chemicals used to disinfect water and naturally occurring arsenic, according to the findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Heylion. The remaining cancer cases were attributed to radioactive chemicals in drinking water. Via CBS Health

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AAN Recommends Annual Cognitive Screening for Adults 65+

Neurologists and other physicians providing neurological care should screen patients age 65 and older yearly for cognitive impairment, according to new metrics for quality improvement issued by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) today. As part of a new measurement set for treating mild cognitive impairment, the AAN recommends physicians measure how frequently they complete yearly cognitive screenings of older adults receiving neurologic care. This metric and others were prepared by the American Academy of Neurology Institute (AANI) and published in Neurology. This is the first time the AAN has proposed annual assessment of cognitive health status as a metric of quality improvement. Via MedPage Today.

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Amazon Launches Amazon Care, A Virtual Medical Clinic for Employees

Amazon has launched a virtual health clinic with in-home follow-ups for employees in Seattle, dubbed Amazon Care. The company announced the program on a web site, Amazon.care, that is currently publicly accessible but did not formally announce the news outside the company. “Amazon Care is a benefit being piloted for Amazon employees and their families in the Seattle area,” the website reads. CNBC previously reported that Amazon was working on an employee health clinic for its Seattle-based employees. Those discussions kicked off last summer with a few hires, including a top Seattle doctor who ran a network of health clinics. Via CNBC.

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Mayo Clinic News

The Truth About Biotin's Potential Health Benefits and Side Effects

Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is a water-soluble nutrient found in foods. You can get your biggest hit of biotin in beef liver (not exactly a family favorite). But it can also be found in lesser amounts in egg yolks, sunflower seeds, nuts, and veggies like avocado, says Jason Ewoldt, RDN, LD, wellness dietician at the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program.  “Biotin is critical for the metabolism of fatty acids and carbs, but that’s not what people are using it for. They’re using it to strengthen brittle nails and for thinning hair,” he says.Via Good Housekeeping.

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It's Safe to Follow the Vaccine Schedule for Babies. Here's Why.

Parents worried about vaccines tend to ask similar questions, said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a physician in pediatric and adolescent medicine with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. They want to know if it's more painful to get three or four shots at once, if the baby's immune system can tolerate multiple vaccines, and what might happen if the vaccines are delayed.  "Other issues are distrust in the health system [and] the government," said Heidi Larson, an anthropologist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, which studies people's views on immunization. Via Live Science.

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More Celebrities Are Using Energy Healing—But Does It Work?

Many Western doctors now believe that stimulation from the needles boosts endorphins, a.k.a. your body’s natural painkillers. In studies, acupuncture has been linked to relief of fibromyalgia pain, low-back pain, migraines, and osteoarthritis. It’s also been found to improve fertility rates and lower hypertension. And one 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture—in which a mild electric current is transmitted through needles—was as effective as Prozac in reducing symptoms of depression. Acupuncture is a holistic approach, says Debbie Lamadrid, an acupuncturist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. “The goal in Chinese medicine is to address the entire person, not just their symptoms.” Via Yahoo! Lifestyle.

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Marketing Associate at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.