Week in Review: Sept. 30

a-medical-staff-person-holding-medication-pills-and-a-glass-of-water-16x9The 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

FDA Approves "Artificial Pancreas" to Manage Diabetes

Federal regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind "artificial pancreas," a device that can help some diabetes patients manage their disease by constantly monitoring their blood sugar and delivering insulin as needed. The device from Medtronic was approved for patients with Type 1 diabetes, the kind usually diagnosed during childhood. About 5% of the nation's 29 million Americans with diabetes have this type. Doctors said they have long awaited a device that could help patients around the clock. Via Boston Herald.

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Flawed Research Tool Leads to Faulty Medical Findings

Researchers trying to understand diseases and find new ways to treat them are running into a serious problem in their labs: One of the most commonly used tools often produces spurious results. More than 100 influential scientists met in California this week and agreed on a strategy to address the troubling issue. The tool in this case is a process—the use of custom-built antibodies. Like the antibodies in your body that help fight off disease, these customized research antibodies are also designed to home in on a specific target, this time to help scientists decipher the invisible workings of a cell. Dozens of companies around the world produce more than 2.5 million varieties of these antibodies. It's a billion-dollar industry. Via NPR.

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More Than 50% of Millennial Respondents Say They Routinely See a Primary Care Physician

A majority of millennials are concerned about their health but say they do not have enough time to focus sufficiently on it, according to a study by Novant Health. The findings are the first from Novant Health's Consumer Attitudes About Health Study, which was based on an online survey of 2,104 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Novant Health from March 1 to March 9. The survey included responses from 419 millennials (individuals ages 18 to 35). Via Advisory Board.

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War Studies Suggest a Concussion Leaves the Brain Vulnerable to PTSD

There's growing evidence that a physical injury to the brain can make people susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies of troops who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have found that service members who have suffered a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury are far more likely to develop PTSD, a condition that can cause flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety for years after a traumatic event. Via NPR.

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Science Journalists Are Suing the FDA over Alleged Manipulation of the News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may reportedly still engage in a banned practice that manipulates popular news coverage, and a few of America’s top science journalists are railing against the government organisation because of it. One of them is even suing the FDA for documents related to the matter. Via Science Alert.

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Mayo Clinic News

Removing Both Ovaries Speeds Aging in Premenopausal Women

A surgery recommended to women as a way to prevent ovarian cancer is unethical in many cases, say Mayo Clinic researchers. Women under 46 who had both ovaries removed experienced a marked increase in eight chronic health conditions, including coronary artery disease, depression, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and osteoporosis. Via CNN.

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Mayo Celebrates 50 Years of Rochester Epidemiology Program

It’s meant to help doctors better understand diseases and the program entered its fifth decade in service. Health professionals gathered in the historic Plummer Building in Rochester to celebrate the milestone achieved by REP. The data base helps doctors better understand where, when, and sometimes why people get diseases during their lifetime. That information is then used to hopefully make changes to health care and maybe prevent these diseases from happening. Via KIMT. 

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Thyroid Cancer: Epidemic or Overdiagnosis?

This year, more than 60,000 people in the U.S. will learn they have thyroid cancer, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society. Attitudes are changing about how to treat these smallest thyroid cancers, according to a Mayo Clinic expert speaking at the opening session of the American Thyroid Association's annual meeting in Denver. "The pendulum is swinging," says Ian D. Hay, M.D., Ph.D., the Dr. Richard F. Emslander professor of endocrinology and nutrition research at Mayo Clinic. Via Endocrine Web.

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Abnormal Mammogram? 7 Questions You Must Ask

The U.S. Preventive Task Force data shows that for every 10,000 women screened in their forties, 1,212 will be told they have a false positive mammogram, resulting in a follow-up screening. “The majority of the time these call-backs are often good news—you’re not going to end up having a cancer diagnosis,” says Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., a consultant at the Breast Diagnostic Clinic at Mayo Clinic. “Often the extra views are just to help clarify something or give more information to radiologist to suggest if an additional test like an ultrasound or magnification views are needed to get more information before they are concerned about a cancer diagnosis.” Via Reader's Digest.

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What Opioids Do to Your Guts

Turn on your TV, and you're likely to see advertisements about products and medications to help ease constipation. Some of those ads are geared toward bowel issues caused by opioid use. In a recent study, Mayo Clinic experts say that opioids, which are the most frequently used medications for chronic pain, often cause constipation. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Michael Camilleri, M.D., about how prescription painkillers can cause constipation and what you can do about it. 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.