Week in Review: March 3

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

Hearing Loss May Double in the U.S. by 2060, Study Warns

As the U.S. population ages, millions more will face the prospect of losing their hearing, researchers report. Among American adults 20 and older, hearing loss is expected to increase from 44 million in 2020 (15% of adults) to 73.5 million by 2060 (23% of adults). The increase will be greatest among older adults, according to the researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. In 2020, 55% of all adults with hearing loss will be 70 or older. In 2060, that rate will jump to 67%. Via CBS News.

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Colon Cancer Rates, Deaths Drop in Americans Older Than 50

In some good news for older Americans, a new report shows that colorectal cancer rates among those older than 50 fell 32% since 2000, while deaths from the disease fell by 34%. Those declines are likely due to increased screening, which can prevent colorectal cancer by detecting and removing precancerous polyps, according to the report released March 1 by the American Cancer Society (ACS). Among older adults, colorectal cancer rates are dropping fastest in those aged 65 or older, and for tumors located in the distal colon (the last part of the colon). The drop is slowest among those aged 50 to 64 and for rectal tumors, the researchers found. Via HealthDay.

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Colorectal Cancer Rates Rising in Gen X and Millennials, Study Finds

Colorectal cancer rates have been declining overall in the United States since the mid-1980s, but certain age groups are seeing a concerning rise in cases, according to new research. The study, led by scientists from the American Cancer Society, highlights a “curious” increase colorectal cancer rates in millennials and Generation Xers, including people in their early 50s. Compared to people born around 1950, those born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer, according to findings published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Via CBS News.

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Cancer Screening Test Use

Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) includes objectives to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer (1) as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Progress toward meeting these objectives is monitored by measuring cancer screening test use against national targets using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (1). Analysis of 2015 NHIS data indicated that screening test use remains substantially below HP2020 targets for selected cancer screening tests. Although colorectal cancer screening test use increased from 2000 to 2015, no improvements in test use were observed for breast and cervical cancer screening. Disparities exist in screening test use by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and health care access indicators. Increased measures to implement evidence-based interventions and conduct targeted outreach are needed if the HP2020 targets for cancer screening are to be achieved and the disparities in screening test use are to be reduced. Via CDC.

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Pipe-Climbing Bacteria Might Spread Infection from Hospital Sinks

Bacteria can thrive in p-traps, those “U bends” below sink drains that collect everything from errant earrings to lost toothpaste tube caps. That’s a big problem, especially in hospitals where sinks have been linked to a slew of bacterial outbreaks. To determine exactly how the pathogens spread, scientists built a row of five sinks in a setup similar to that in many hospitals, with all of them draining into the same pipe. After sterilizing all the sink components and separating the countertops with Plexiglas shields, the scientists seeded p-traps with harmless, fluorescent bacteria to see where the microbes traveled. Via Science.

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Mayo Clinic News

Minnesota Governor Undergoes Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton underwent surgery for prostate cancer and will stay overnight at the hospital as he recovers, an aide said in a statement. Dayton's surgery proceeded as planned and was over by late morning, Deputy Chief of Staff Linden Zakula said in an emailed statement. Dayton, 70, said last month he would have his prostate removed. "The Governor is resting comfortably at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. As he recovers, he will be joined by his family and remain at the hospital overnight," Zakula said. Via Reuters.

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Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify New Genetic Risk Factor for Late-Onset Alzheimer's in African-Americans

Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's research seeks to paint a more complete genetic picture of genes that confer risk for Alzheimer's and genes that protect against that risk in different populations, says neurogeneticist Minerva Carrasquillo, Ph.D., who is the co-author. "Currently, at least 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer's disease, and the rate of this devastating dementia is expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades," says Dr. Carrasquillo. "By uncovering genetic factors that modify the risk of Alzheimer's disease, there is the potential to identify druggable gene targets and genetic variants that could be used for early disease detection and prevention." Via News-medical.net.

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Mayo Clinic Performs Rare in-Womb Surgery to Give Baby New Chance at Life

An Austin, Rochester, mom and her baby are doing well after her pregnancy took an unexpected turn. Nineteen weeks in, doctors told her something was wrong with her unborn baby . . . . Her baby was diagnosed with a severe form of Spina Bifida halfway through her pregnancy. “Once the baby is being formed, the baby's back does not close. The spine does not close, so the nerves can be open," says Rodrigo Ruano, M.D., Ph.D., Director at Mayo Clinic Fetal Diagnostic and Intervention Center. Via KAAL.

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Noseworthy: Mayo Clinic Has "Strong Financial Performance" in 2016

Mayo Clinic had a busy 2016, from regaining the coveted No.1 Hospital ranking, to developments with Destination Medical Center. Clinic leaders said in the annual financial statement released that the hospital's finances are in good shape, despite a slightly lower income than in 2015. Mayo Clinic finished 2016 with $475 million in income for current activities, which is reinvested in Mayo's practice, research and education. That's about $50 million less than the 2015 mark, but $80 million more than in 2012. Via KTTC.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu

It's the peak of the cold and flu season. Typically, the season peaks between December and February, people may continue to get sick as late as May. Public health officials say widespread flu infection has been reported across the country with at least 29 deaths linked to influenza. Gregory Poland, M.D., Director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, says it's not too late to get a flu vaccine. And, for those older than age 65 or with a chronic medical condition, he says to consider vaccines against pneumonia. 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.