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.
American Cancer Society, in a Shift, Recommends Fewer Mammograms
One of the most respected and influential groups in the continuing breast-cancer screening debate said that women should begin mammograms later and have them less frequently than it had long advocated. The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to screening, issued new guidelines, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years. Via NY Times.
23andMe Launches New Consumer Test Service to Check for Genetic Disorders
Genetics company 23andMe announced the launch of a new consumer genetic test service that will show whether an individual carries genes associated with 36 different disorders, such as cystic fibrosis. The launch is a major step for the company, which in 2013 was ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to stop selling its Personal Genome Service because the regulatory agency had not approved the tests it offered. Via Reuters.
No Alcohol During Pregnancy - Ever - Plead U.S. Pediatricians
In an effort to once and for all put a rest to any debate about drinking during pregnancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics has put out a clear message: Don't do it. Ever. At all. Not even a tiny bit. "No amount of alcohol should be considered safe to drink during any trimester of pregnancy," the group wrote. The group released a report identifying prenatal exposure to alcohol as the leading preventable cause of birth defects, as well as cognitive problems later in life. Via CNN.
Frequent Antibiotics May Make Children Fatter
Children who regularly use antibiotics gain weight faster than those who have never taken the drugs, according to new research that suggests childhood antibiotics may have a lasting effect on body weight well into adulthood. The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined the electronic medical records of 163,820 children ages 3 to 18, counting antibiotic prescriptions, body weight, and height. Via NY Times.
Google and Yahoo Sign Search Partnership
Yahoo revealed it has partnered with Google in an advertising pact that links the fortunes of Silicon Valley's two search engine giants. The three-year deal means Google will help power Yahoo's search engine and provide it with advertisements. Google will pay Yahoo a percentage of revenue from ads, and Yahoo will pay Google for requests for word or image search results, according to Yahoo's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Via San Jose Mercury News.
Mayo Clinic News
Improving Hospital Quality and Reducing Costs
Five years have passed since the passage of President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, bringing some changes to health care that are embraced and others that are criticized. At the U.S. News Hospital of Tomorrow conference in the nation's capital, hospital executives discussed how the act has changed the way they do business and deliver care. They discussed the impacts of innovation, coverage and how to reduce waste in the system. Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO for the Mayo Clinic, opened the conference with a keynote speech on "The Faces of High-Value Health Care: People and Processes." He highlighted a few ways the Mayo Clinic has better coordinated care, including the creation of "Ask Mayo Expert," which allows patients to avoid a trip to the hospital by allowing them to connect with a health care professional online. Via U.S. News & World Report.
CEO: Why Mayo Clinic Doesn't Want to Acquire Hospitals
John Noseworthy, the president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, tells U.S. News & World Report that increasing hospital consolidation might not be good for care—and argues that the clinic's patient-centered approach is a better way to compete. According to a recent JAMA study, there were more hospital mergers in 2014 than any other year since 2000. Many health systems view size as a way to gain more leverage with payers, provide more coordinated care, and compete in a changing health care market. Via Advisory Board.
Forget Last Year's Hiccups, Go Get Your Flu Shot
Last year, public health officials were taken by surprise when new strains of the flu virus appeared. Not so this year and they advise everyone six months or older to get vaccinated against the flu. For scientists, every year presents a new challenge to predict exactly which strains of the flu will be powerful enough to make people sick. Pritish Tosh is an infectious disease doctor and researcher at the Mayo Clinic. He says there are dozens of different flu strains. Via NPR.
Aggressive Approach to Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Shows Benefit
Survival rates of the rare anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, which has a very poor prognosis, show significant improvement when patients are treated with an aggressive combined-modality therapy, although the toxicities associated with such therapies can take their toll, according to research describing experience with the approach at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. "Aggressive, combined-modality therapy appears to be associated with improved overall survival in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, especially among patients with lower-stage disease," coauthor Keith C Bible, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the endocrine malignancies disease-oriented group with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, told Medscape Medical News. Via Medscape.
Mayo Clinic Minute: What The New Mammogram Guidelines Mean To You
The American Cancer Society revised its breast cancer screening guidelines. Watch this video from Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialist, Dr. Sandhya Pruthi, on the new mammogram recommendations for women. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.