Week in Review: Dec. 18


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

The Cost of Health Care is Based on Where You Live

There's a study out today that turns some of what we think we know about health care economics on its head. Specifically, new data about how much we're paying for our care and what hospital mergers in various cities have to do with that. Marketplace Health Care Reporter Dan Gorenstein explains. Via Marketplace.org.

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Smoking, Secondhand Smoke Tied to Infertility and Early Menopause 

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke is tied to infertility in women and early menopause, according to a new study. Compared to women who never smoked and those exposed to the least secondhand smoke, women who smoked or were exposed to the most secondhand smoke were more likely to have problems getting pregnant and more likely to enter menopause before age 50, researchers found. Via Reuters. 

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Antidepressants During Pregnancy Doubles the Risk of Autism

Taking antidepressants during pregnancy almost doubles the risk of children developing autism, a major study has found. The study on more than 140,000 pregnant women found that taking drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat during the second and third trimester significantly increases the chance of such conditions. Researchers said the reasons were unknown but that it was “biologically plausible" that the medication could affect the development of the brain in the womb at a critical stage. Via Telegraph UK.

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FDA Launches precisionFDA to Harness the Power of Scientific Collaboration

Imagine a world where doctors have at their fingertips the information that allows them to individualize a diagnosis, treatment, or even a cure for a person based on their genes. That’s what President Obama envisioned when he announced his Precision Medicine Initiative earlier this year. Today, with the launch of FDA’s precisionFDA web platform, we’re a step closer to achieving that vision. Via FDA.gov.

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Canine Flu Has Dog Owners Wondering if Fido Needs a Vaccine 

Last spring, veterinarians in Chicago became overwhelmed by dogs with high fevers, hacking coughs, copiously dripping noses, runny eyes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Over nearly two months, at least 1,500 dogs fell ill, many for as long as three weeks. At least eight died from secondary infections like pneumonia. Via NY Times.

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Mayo Clinic News

How Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine is Impacting Patient Care 

Paldeep Atwal tells us how Mayo Clinic are already rolling out genomic medicine, and what should happen next. Via Front Line Genomics.

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Risk Factors for Fatigue in Patients With Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Assessed 

Management of fatigue in patients treated for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) should include a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan in order to address modifiable etiologies, according to a recent study published online ahead of print in Cancer. Robyn Scherber M.D., MP.H., of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, developed a 70-item, Internet-based survey regarding fatigue that was hosted by the Mayo Clinic Survey Research Center. Via Cancer Therapy Advisor.

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Health Care in Minnesota Not Always a Bargain, Study Finds

New research is calling into question the long-held belief that Minnesota is a model for low-cost health care. While many studies have shown that the government’s Medicare program gets a good deal in Rochester, Duluth, and Minneapolis, new work from four economists suggests that private insurers in those cities pay noticeably more for care. At the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Robert Nesse said the report put too much focus on the list prices that insurers pay for particular services, rather than long-term quality of care. “I tend to look at costs over times, versus fee schedules,” Nesse said. “If I was a patient, that’s the way I’d look at it — what’s it cost me to get my care with a good outcome for a year, not what’s the fee for this test.” Via Star Tribune.

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ESR1 Mutations Linked to Poorer OS in ER-Positive Breast Cancer

The first report of ESR1 mutations was published more than 20 years ago. However, most of the subsequent early studies seeking to determine the clinical relevance of these alterations evaluated non-metastatic, surgically resected ER-positive tumors, and the frequency of ESR1 mutations in this setting was reported to be very low, and thus thought not to be clinically relevant. Via HemOnc Today.

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Why Increased NIH Research Funding is Critical

Under the federal spending bill, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive $200 million for President Obama’s Precision Medicine initiative and a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding in 2016. Via Mayo Clinic News Network. 

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.