Week in Review: Feb. 19

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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

WHO Asks For $56 Million to Fight Zika

The World Health Organization has asked for $56 million to fight the Zika virus through the end of June, according to an action plan. The WHO has declared the Zika epidemic a "public health emergency of international concern," based partly on the link between Zika and an increase in birth defects in Brazil. Via USA Today.

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Not Enough doctors? Nurses Fill the Gap After Earning Online Degrees

As more patients seek medical care due to the Affordable Care Act, as the population ages and grows, and as older physicians retire, the nation could face a shortfall of 31,000 primary care physicians by 2025, the Association of American Medical Colleges has warned. Many hospitals, community health clinics, and state policymakers are turning to nurse practitioners to fill that gap. Nurse practitioners have equivalent, or sometimes better, patient outcomes compared to doctors, according to a review of studies from 1990 to 2008. But, contrary to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the American Medical Association and other physician groups have fought to restrict nurse practitioners’ autonomy, arguing they don’t have the proper training to prescribe medicine and treat patients on their own. Via STAT. 

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Women's Heart Attacks Are Different, Deadlier 

According to the American Heart Association, more than 260,000 women in the USA have heart attacks each year. The association recently published its first official scientific statement on women’s heart attacks, detailing the ways in which they sometimes differ from men’s — including the fact that women are less likely to have obvious chest-crushing pain or to be diagnosed and treated quickly. They also are more likely to die: 26% lose their lives within a year of a first heart attack, compared with 19% of men. Via USA Today.

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More Than 5 million people Will Die From a Frightening Cause: Breathing

About 5.5 million people around the world die prematurely every year from breathing polluted air, and the majority of those deaths are occurring in China and India, where factories and coal-fired power plants are fueling economic growth, according to a report released. The authors said the findings show that disease from air and household pollution ranks as the number two cause of death worldwide. Via Washington Post.

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Researchers Develop Diagnostic Tool That Can 'Smell' Prostate Cancer 

Nearly 28,000 American men died of prostate cancer in 2015, and there remains no effective, non-invasive test for diagnosing the disease. But now, British researchers have developed a non-invasive diagnostic tool that can “smell” prostate cancer in men’s urine. The test may offer hope for men who are African-American or who have a family history of prostate cancer, two groups thought to be at a greater risk of the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. Via FOX News.

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Mayo Clinic News

New Culprit in Lyme Disease

Mosquitoes may be receiving all the attention amid the Zika virus epidemic, but they are hardly the only disease vectors to worry about. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have discovered a new species of tick-borne bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Dr. Bobbi Pritt, the medical director of the microbiology laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, where the new strain was first detected, recommended that patients with exposure to ticks in Minnesota and Wisconsin receive antibody and polymerase chain reaction testing to detect B. mayonii if they are concerned about Lyme infection but do not have the telltale bull’s-eye rash. Via NY Times.

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At Luxury Resorts, the Doctor Can See You Now 

Some of the most prestigious names in medicine are moving into hotels. In January, the Mayo Clinic partnered with Mandarin Oriental to launch its Healthy Living Program at Mandarin’s resort in Bodrum, Turkey. Several Mayo employees—a resiliency specialist, an exercise specialist and a wellness trainer—are now working out of four rooms at the resort’s spa. Because of licensing issues, there are no Mayo M.D.s there, yet. The resort employs its own doctor. And Mayo says it is considering adding M.D.s. Mandarin offers two Mayo programs, a one-day and a five-day, that include meals, fitness classes, a stress management session, and spa treatments. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Loss For Words Can Be a Rare Brain Disorder, Not Alzheimer's

A mysterious brain disorder can be confused with early Alzheimer's disease although it isn't robbing patients of their memories but of the words to talk about them. It's called primary progressive aphasia, and researchers said they're finding better ways to diagnose the little-known syndrome. That will help people whose thoughts are lucid but who are verbally locked in to get the right kind of care. Via ABC News.

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Consolidation and Maintenance Therapy in Multiple Myeloma

Transcript of oncology panel featuring Dr. Keith Stewart – Mayo Clinic. Via OncLive.

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Mayo Clinic in Arizona Opens Lung Transplant Program

Mayo Clinic in Arizona  has opened  its lung transplant program and has completed two lung transplants, a milestone that now completes Mayo’s comprehensive solid organ transplant program, with ability to provide heart, kidney, pancreas, liver, and now lung transplants. Via Mayo Clinic News Network. 

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.