Week in Review: Jan. 12

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

Faced with Public Pressure, Research Institutions Step up Reporting of Clinical Trial Results

The reporting of clinical trial results to a public database—mandated by a 10-year-old federal law—has improved sharply in the last two years, with universities and other nonprofit research centers leading the way, according to a new STAT analysis of government data. Overall, trial sponsors had disclosed 72% of required results to the federal ClinicalTrials.gov database as of September 2017. That compares with 58% just two years earlier. For its analysis, STAT examined nearly 18,700 clinical trials whose results should have been posted to ClinicalTrials.gov between 2008 and September 11, 2017. The investigation follows a similar report by STAT two years ago, which found that prestigious medical research institutions were among the most flagrant violators of the reporting law. Via STAT.

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More Cases Reported in Deadly U.S. E. coli Outbreak; Canada Outbreak over

Federal health officials reported seven additional cases of E. coli illness in a deadly E. coli outbreak that has now struck 15 U.S. states. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the total number of those infected has climbed to 24. Nine of those people have been hospitalized, two of whom are suffering from a form of kidney failure. There has been one death, which was previously reported. Maryland and New Jersey now join California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, which all previously reported cases of illness. Via CNN.

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Deadly Flu Season Hits California Particularly Hard

A deadly flu season has hit hard in the Golden State. More patients are being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, some stores have had spot shortages of flu medications, and there have been 27 flu-related deaths reported among patients younger than 65, according to the California Department of Public Health. "Usually, at this time of year, we have reported in the neighborhood of three or four deaths in people under age 65," Dr. James Watt, chief of the Division of Communicable Disease Control at the state Department of Public Health, said. Via CNN.

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American Babies Are 76% More Likely to Die in Their First Year Than Babies in Other Rich Countries

American babies are 76% more likely to die before they turn a year old than babies in other rich countries, and American children who survive infancy are 57% more likely to die before adulthood, according to a sobering new study published in the journal Health Affairs. Comparing the United States to 19 other wealthy democracies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the study found if the U.S. had simply kept pace with average childhood mortality rates in those countries, 600,000 young lives could have been saved since 1961. That amounts to roughly 20,000 dead children and teens each year. Via Washington Post.

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Ibuprofen Linked to Male Infertility, Study Says

Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility. Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. CNN has contacted Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of both brands, for comment. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medications and supplements, "supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines," said Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the association. "The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use." Via CNN.

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Mayo Clinic News

Your Memory Problems Might Not Be Linked to Dementia after All

If your impairment is severe enough to interfere with your job or daily functioning, however, you probably need more in-depth neuropsychological testing, which may include an MRI and blood tests, says Richard Caselli, M.D., Associate Director and Clinical Core Director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. A thorough evaluation should also look for other possible causes of memory issues, like a thyroid disorder or stroke. “Usually [an expert] can tell if it’s Alzheimer’s based on a pattern of strengths and weaknesses on cognitive tests,” Dr. Caselli says. Via Prevention.

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CTE Not That Common in Young People with Epilepsy

The retrospective study of 10 young adults who had undergone surgery to control medication-resistant seizures found no pathologic evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in nine of them, although eight had mild to moderate cognitive impairment that often accompanies hard-to-treat seizure disorders, reported Gregory Cascino, M.D., of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues in Neurology. "Previous studies [involving older people with epilepsy and similar types of seizures] have found signs of CTE in up to a quarter or even a third of older people with epilepsy, so our aim was to determine if such signs could be found in the brains of younger people with epilepsy," Dr. Cascino explained. "Only one of our 10 study participants had signs of CTE, but because our study was small, more research needs to be done to confirm our findings." Via MedPage Today.

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Elevated High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin Can Point to Impending Heart Failure

"As advocates for biomarker use in patients with heart failure (HF) and from our previous studies, we appreciate the interesting proof of concept presented by Evans, et al., and with which we concur in regard to establishing estimates of those at risk for HF going forward,” Allan Jaffe, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FESC, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Chair of the Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services at Mayo Clinic and a member of the Cardiology Today Editorial Board, and Wayne L. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic, wrote in a related editorial. “However, we also have tried to use this opportunity to suggest that the field needs to spend additional time and effort refining the specific techniques that might more fully optimize the ability to use summary and meta-analyses that include biomarkers.” Via Healio.

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WuXi AppTec Group and Mayo Clinic Form Joint Venture to Deliver Clinical Diagnostic Services

WuXi AppTec Group and Mayo Clinic announced today a joint venture to co-develop and deliver clinical diagnostic services in China. With WuXi AppTec Group's operational excellence and Mayo Medical Laboratories' clinical and laboratory testing expertise, the new joint venture will accelerate the development of novel esoteric tests that both organizations will offer in their respective markets, with the intent to benefit not only patients in China but around the world. Via Daily Telescope

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Mayo Clinic Receives High Marks for Hospital Quality from Federal Government

Fourteen Mayo Clinic hospitals in Arizona, Florida, Rochester, and the Mayo Clinic Health System received star ratings for overall hospital quality from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Four of those earned the highest rating: five out of five stars. 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.

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