Week in Review: March 25


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 FDA, For Only the Second Time Ever, Wants to Ban a Medical Device. Here’s Why

Powdered medical gloves — the kind used in surgery or to examine patients — would be ordered off the market under a new proposal by the Food and Drug Administration. That would put the gloves in an exclusive club — only one other device has been banned by the agency: prosthetic hair fibers in 1983. Via Washington Post.

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What Would Happen if Americans Were Paid to Donate Their Kidneys?

One of the strictest tenets of the U.S. transplant system is that paying for organs is forbidden. The ban, imposed by the National Transplant Act of 1984, was designed to protect the poor from being taken advantage of by the wealthy. Impassioned supporters of the law argued that compensating people for body parts is exploitative and treats donors like subhumans, and the debate was essentially closed for more than three decades — until recently. Via Washington Post. 

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Asleep At The wheel? Study Shows Danger of Truckers' Untreated Apnea

Truckers who fail to maintain their sleep apnea treatments have a fivefold increase in the risk of serious, preventable crashes. That's the finding of new research from the University of Minnesota Morris. The study released is the largest analysis to date of crash risk among commercial truckers who have the breathing disorder. It comes as a debate heats up over whether to require sleep apnea screening for truckers. Via MPR.

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Calif. Passes Bill to Raise Smoking Age to 21

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is considering signing a bill that would raise the state’s smoking age to 21. State lawmakers passed the bill lifting the smoking age from 18 as part of a series of restrictions on tobacco and e-cigarette products. Lawmakers were meeting in a special session called by Brown to address a variety of health-related issues. Via USA Today.

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Experts Say Your Standing Desk is Basically Useless

A new analysis found that it’s still unclear whether standing or treadmill desks have any positive effect at all on health. What’s more, it’s not even clear whether having these new kinds of desks significantly reduces the amount of time a person sits during the work day. The analysis of 20 previous studies — together including a total of 2,174 participants — was conducted by Cochrane, a prestigious global network of independent scientists who evaluate the quality of research and parse scientific evidence into digestible recommendations. They found there are too few studies and studies with too few participants, making a solid recommendation for standing or walking desks impossible. Via Huffington Post.

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Mayo Clinic News

Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Do you get a moderate amount of exercise, eat right, keep from piling on fat, and avoid smoking? Congratulations, you're among the 2.7 percent of Americans who do so, according to a new study. The study looked at data on more than 4,700 people who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey. The researchers assessed how many people followed four general "principles of healthy living" — a good diet, moderate exercise, not smoking, and keeping body fat under control. The study was published recently in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Via U.S. News & World Report.

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Mayo's Center for Individualized Medicine Explores WGS, Diagnostic Exomes, PGx Analysis, Gene Panels

Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine has been rolling out genomic testing for its patients, integrating genomics into electronic medical records, and participating in clinical trials that focus on delivering personalized medicine. The center recently published a paper on its experience with diagnostic exome testing in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings and launched an effort to sequence 84 genes related to pharmacogenomics in 10,000 patients in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine. It published the results of the first 1,000 patients this month in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. Via GenomeWeb.

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Flu Widespread After Slow Start to the Season

After a late start to flu season, officials say the virus is now widespread in Minnesota.“This is expected, every year we are going to have one and right now we are in the middle of our seasonal epidemic for influenza in Minnesota,” said Mayo Clinic Dr. Pritish Tosh. Via KAAL-TV.

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Mayo Medical School's Biggest Graduating Class Matched Into Residency Programs

Mayo Medical Students recently learned where they'll take their next steps. The annual Match Day brought together a record-setting class of seniors to reveal at which clinics and hospitals they'll be completing their residencies. "It is bar none, hands down, the most exciting and fun event of my entire year,” said Dr. Alexandra Wolanskyj, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Mayo Medical School. Via KTTC.

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Mayo Clinic Expert Shares Five Things to Know About Colorectal Cancer

Roughly 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States each year. It is the third most common cancer and No. 2 cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women. Colorectal surgeon Heidi Nelson, M.D., chair of surgery at Mayo Clinic, shares five things to know about colorectal cancer. 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.